AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 45 Cool Astronomy for Everyone
Special Session, Monday, January 10, 2005, 2:00-3:30pm, Sunrise

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[45.02] Are You Really Teaching if No One is Learning? Beyond Declarative Knowledge in Astronomy

E.E. Prather (Univ. of Arizona)

Researchers with the Conceptual Astronomy and Physics Education Research (CAPER) Team at the University of Arizona’s Department of Astronomy are conducting fundamental research into students’ ideas over a range of topics commonly taught in the non-science majors introductory astronomy courses. Research in this field repeatedly demonstrates that students enter the classroom with many inaccurate scientific ideas that are poised to interfere with instruction. Our research indicates that these student ideas are difficult to change through conventional lecture alone. Moreover, the depth of student understanding is often masked when they are able to correctly answer test questions that are based on declarative knowledge. To better promote student learning, the results from our investigations are being used to inform curriculum development and instructional practices that are aimed at creating a learner centered environment in the large lecture classroom. Students working in this environment show substantial increases in their learning over conventional lecture.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://caperteam.as.arizona.edu. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: eprather@as.arizona.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.