The Planetarium in Education: An Experimental Study of the Attainment of Perceived Goals
The main purpose of this study was to determine the relative effectiveness of the planetarium in attaining the perceived goals of planetarium educators. The goal areas for the 986 second-grade children involved in the study were low level Cognitive or Knowledge, Comprehension, and Application; Affective or Receiving, Responding, and Valuing; and Inquiry Skills or Space/Time Relations, Classifying, Communicating, and Inferring. Factors concerning the effect of student and environmental characteristics on student performance were also investigated. Three different instructional experiences were isolated: (1) a classroom astronomy unit experience, (2) a classroom astronomy-planetarium unit experience, and (3) children with no instruction in astronomy or planetarium visit. The students in the astronomy-planetarium unit experience showed significant gains in all goal areas when compared to the other students. The astronomy unit experience, pre- and post-tested, was found to be effective in producing change in goal areas of planetarium educators. Six weeks after a planetarium experience, increased perception and understanding of science principles and processes were noted.
Sunal, D. W. (1973). The Planetarium in Education: An Experimental Study of the Attainment of Perceived Goals. PhD. Dissertation, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA