Astronomy Teaching in Primary Schools: Underrated Pupils

Teaching astronomy in primary schools: How, why, and in what context?
4th Shaw-IAU Workshop
Tuesday Nov. 15, 2022
UTC: 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
, Wednesday Nov. 16, 2022
UTC: 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

We believe that the global science curriculum standards for astronomy education underestimate the actual ability of pupils. We conducted interviews with 54 students from grades 1 to 6 about the moon phase concept. It revealed that few students are working from naive mental models, and most can put forward their own guesses and carry out simulation experiments to verify. Students in grades 5-6 can even use the balls of different sizes and flashlights provided by the teacher to deduce the reason for the moon phase and refine their mental models of the Sun-Earth-Moon system. We have successfully helped grade 3 students establish the concept of the moon phase change law and the distance between the S-E-M by combining the embodied cognition with concrete models and mathematical reasoning.

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