Perspectives on astronomy: probing Norwegian pre-service teachers and middle school students

We report on ongoing work to gain insight into the astronomy knowledge and perspectives of pre-service teachers and middle school students in Norway. We carefully adapted and translated into Norwegian an existing instrument, the Introductory Astronomy Questionnaire (IAQ); we administered this adapted IAQ to (i) pre-service teachers at the largest teacher education institution in Norway, and (ii) students drawn from eight middle schools in Oslo, in both cases before and after astronomy instruction. Amongst our preliminary findings - based on an analysis of both free-response writing and multiple-choice responses - was that when prompted to provide responses to hypothetical students, the pre-service teachers exhibited a marked drop in pedagogical responses pre- to post-instruction, with corresponding shifts towards more authoritative responses. We also identified potentially serious issues relating to middle school students' conceptions of size and distances in the universe, with significant stratification along gender lines.

Christine Lindstrøm, Vinesh Rajpaul, Morten Brendehaug, Megan C. Engel
(Submitted on 27 Jan 2016)

Comments: 4 pages. Accepted for publication in 2015 PERC Proceedings
Subjects: Physics Education (physics.ed-ph)
Journal reference: 2015 PERC Proceedings (ed. A. D. Churukian, D. L. Jones, and Lin Ding): pp. 195-198
DOI: 10.1119/
Cite as: arXiv:1601.07445 [physics.ed-ph] (or arXiv:1601.07445v1 [physics.ed-ph] for this version)
Submission history
From: Vinesh Rajpaul
[v1] Wed, 27 Jan 2016 16:53:33 GMT (97kb)

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