Using Kinesthetic Activities to Teach Ptolemaic and Copernican Retrograde Motion
This paper describes a method for teaching planetary retrograde motion, and the Ptolemaic and Copernican accounts of retrograde motion, by means of a series kinesthetic learning activities (KLAs). In the KLAs described, the students literally walk through the motions of the planets in both systems. A retrospective statistical analysis shows that students who participated in these activities performed better on examination questions pertaining to retrograde motion than students who did not. Potential explanations for this result, including the breaking of classroom routine, the effect of body movement on conceptual memory, and egocentric spatial proprioception, are considered.