US and Turkish preschoolers’ observational knowledge of astronomy
The purpose of this cross-cultural study was to describe and compare US and Turkish children's observational knowledge of the day and night cycle and to identify similarities predicted by framework theory. Fifty-six (27 US and 29 Turkish) young children (ages 48–60 months) participated in the study. Semi-structured interviews were individually conducted, digitally recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using the constant comparative method. The results demonstrate that preschoolers from the two cultures are able to make comparable informal observations of the sky, and their observational knowledge includes many similarities, with one exception, as predicted by framework theory. US children were more likely to perform better than the Turkish children on the question about the time of observation for the moon. Although science concepts and skills are better represented in US early childhood education programs than the Turkish program, the results suggest that this advantage did not translate into performance differences between US and Turkish children.