As a teacher with a special interest in astronomy, I have experimented for more than ten years with ways in which astronomy might be taught, and used to introduce young students to the complexity of science. My research and teaching are founded on the belief that the effective learning and understanding of astronomical concepts are strongly related to the perception of phenomena, and to the emotions that nature and the sky bring out in us.
Students must be guided to find. in the sky. the same fascination and wish for knowledge that has always led mankind to observe astronomical phenomena and organize space and time. Looking at what happens in my class, I will sketch some examples of methods and astronomical activities which create responsive and effective learning environments. I will focus on some competences and conditions for the teaching of basic astronomy in order to encourage the enthusiasm of students, to improve their understanding of science, and their appreciation of its role in making sense of the world. Thus, scientific knowledge becomes culture. and astronomy makes a great contribution, not only in science, but in education.