Urban Middle-School Teachers’ Beliefs about Astronomy Learner Characteristics: Implications for Curriculum
This study addresses the link between urban teachers’ beliefs about their students’ ability to succeed in astronomy and their instructional decisions and practices in response to those beliefs. The findings suggest that teachers believe that the student characteristics that are necessary for high achievement in astronomy include specific cognitive skills, dispositions, and prior knowledge and experiences with the subject area. These teachers further view their own students as largely lacking in these characteristics and report such instructional modifications as not teaching the prescribed astronomy curriculum, deemphasizing related mathematics, reading and science process skill sets, deemphasizing advanced astronomy topics and laboratory experiences, and reducing the depth of astronomy concepts. The implications of these findings are that urban students might in fact be experiencing an astronomy curriculum that is alienating and does not promote their engagement with the subject area.
Miranda, R. J. (2010). Urban Middle-School Teachers' Beliefs about Astronomy Learner Characteristics: Implications for Curriculum. Astronomy Education Review, 9(1).