What do teachers of astronomy need to think about?
Learning astronomy has exciting prospects for many students; learning about the stars in the sky, the planets, galaxies, etc., is often very inspiring and sets the mind on the really big aspects of astronomy as a science; the Universe. At the same time, learning astronomy can be a challenging endeavor for many students. One of the most difficult things to come to understand is how big the Universe is. Despite seeming trivial, size and distances, together with the three-dimensional (3D) structure of the Universe, probably present some of the biggest challenges in the teaching and learning of astronomy (Eriksson, Linder, Airey, & Redfors, in preparation; Lelliott & Rollnick, 2010). This is the starting point for every astronomy educator. From here, an educationally critical question to ask is: how can we best approach the teaching of astronomy to optimize the potential for our students attaining a holistic understanding about the nature of the Universe? Resent research indicates that to develop students’ understanding about the structure of the Universe, computer generated 3D simulations can be used to provide the students with an experience that other representations cannot easily provide (Eriksson et al., in preparation; Joseph, 2011). These simulations offer disciplinary affordance* through the generation of motion parallax for the viewer. Using this background we will present the results of a recent investigation that we completed looking at what students’ discern (notice with meaning) about the multidimensionality of the Universe. Implications for astronomy education will be discussed and exemplified.
Eriksson, U., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Redfors, A. (2013). What do teachers of astronomy need to think about? In DIVA. Retrieved from http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-15087
Type of Publication
Eriksson, Urban | Linder, Cedric | Airey, John | Redfors, Andreas
Kristianstad University | Uppsala University | Uppsala University | Kristianstad University
Nordic Physics Days 2013
Conference Proceeding Type
Nation(s) of Study