The Relationship between Preservice Science Teachers' Attitude toward Astronomy and Their Understanding of Basic Astronomy Concepts
Turkish preservice science teachers have been taking a two-credit astronomy class during the last semester of their undergraduate program since 2010. The current study aims to investigate the relationship between preservice science teachers' astronomy misconceptions and their attitudes toward astronomy. Preservice science teachers were given an Astronomy Attitude Test and a conceptual test at the beginning of their astronomy course. Three students from each of three attitude levels (low, medium, and high) were selected for interviews and asked to explain their conceptual test responses in depth. Generally, low-attitude students had more misconceptions and gave non-scientific, low-level explanations, whereas middle- and high-attitude students gave more scientific explanations. The results suggest that students develop negative attitudes about a subject in which they lack knowledge.