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Running head: ASTRONOMY EDUCATION IN TURKEY
A REPORT ABOUT ASTRONOMY EDUCATION IN TURKEY
Zeynep Tuğba Kahyaoğlu Middle East Technical University, Ankara
June 11. 2007
Astronomy Education 2 Table of content
TABLE OF CONTENT........................................................................................................2 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................3 HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY EDUCATION IN TURKEY .............................................4 CURRENT STATUS OF ASTRONOMY EDUCATION IN TURKEY ............................6 Obstacles of Astronomy Education......................................................................................6 CURRENT STATUS OF ASTRONOMY EDUCATION IN OTHER COUNTRIES.......8 NEW DEVELOPMENTS AND STUDIES ABOUT ASTRONOMY EDUCATION IN TURKEY ............................................................................................................................12 New Curriculum .................................................................................................................12 Need Analysis......................................................................................................................15 SUGGESTIONS, IMPLICATIONS & DISCUSSIONS ...................................................22 REFERENCES ...................................................................................................................24
Astronomy Education 3 INTRODUCTION When I was a child and glancing at everywhere with a big curiosity, the things that my father was telling me whetted my appetite to know and shifted my interest from small observable things in life to bigger ones which I did not notice or think before. The black holes, bending and expansion of space, stars, movements of sun, moon, traveling in time were some of the things that I listened from my father and made me feel sometimes terrific or sometimes admiration for beauty. Because of many other things like that I always wanted to be a physics teacher. I wanted to know physics and I wanted to teach it also (hence, I did not choose any other department). However, I learned in university that the things awaked my interest were not just physics, but mostly astronomy. I think that most of the students who came to physics department as very willingly are probably like me, they are influenced by astronomy topics. Moreover, I got disappointed by having no education in our program about some astronomy topics. Only by elective courses, one can learn about those. Yes, maybe being of a separate science branch of astronomy become a reason of not providing astronomy must courses to physics and physics education students. But for especially physics teachers educated here would strongly feel the need of that field knowledge when they face with the duty of curiosity and interest awaking of students on science. Tunca (2002) also makes emphasis on that aspect of astronomy by saying that many developed countries use astronomy and space sciences in an effective way for making students love and direct on sciences. We know that astronomy was the first developed science and then, other sciences were born in time. Percy (1998 as cited in Kahraman, 2006) says astronomy progresses physics and other sciences and, it increases the curiosity, imagination and sense of exploration and discovery.
Astronomy Education 4 Astronomy is not only important due to its role of being pioneer of other sciences, but also important for its effects on the international race between countries of going fore of others. We know that the most developed countries of today’s world are the ones who are the best in astronomy studies. And, they were always in a great rivalry especially in astronomy developments. Therefore, development in astronomy and so in astronomy education first should be very vital subjects of our developing country. There were many various kinds of astronomy education in the world. In the past also, our astronomy education was different and may be better than today. Nowadays, a new curriculum is being developed by researchers and academicians for high schools physics and there were studies and good intentions about astronomy education inside it. Because of being a physics teacher of very near future, I wanted to know these studies and developments and also fill my gap of deflated interest on astronomy. The questions I wanted to get answers after my research are like that: 1-How was astronomy education in Turkey in the past? 2-What is the current status of astronomy education in Turkey? 3-What is the current status of astronomy education in other countries? 4-What are the new developments and studies about astronomy education in Turkey? 5-What suggestions can be done and what are implications of that research? I also wrote my ideas appeared after this research in the last part.
HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY EDUCATION IN TURKEY In the book Evren Nasıl Oluştu(2007), Kırbıyık and his group told the history of astronomical developments. According to the book the first astronomy education of Turks was started by scientist Fettullah who came to Kastamonu from Semerkand. He taught not
Astronomy Education 5 only astronomy but also geometry. After that, one of the famous astronomer, Ali Kuşçu came to Istanbul and taught astronomy. In 1577 an observatory which was the biggest one in Islam world was built by the command of Ottoman sultan, III. Murad. The planner and adviser of this development was Takiyeddin who came to Istanbul from Egypt. This big observatory contained a good library, an observation well and a tower and very important detailed maps. It was thought that there were administrative personnel and about 15 scientists working. However, it is a pity that this important observatory was ruined in 1580. The reason of this misfortune was the bigotry of some people of those times (Kırbıyık, et.all., 2007; Tunca, 2002). In the engineering schools, which were opened in 1760 and 1795, astronomy lessons were taught. (Kırbıyık, 2007b) According to the paper of Tunca presented at V. Science and Mathematics Education Congress in Middle East Technical University in 2002, the history of astronomy education in Turkey after the times indicated above are as follows: In 1845, a big telescope of 5 meters long and 1meter of diameter was brought to Harbiye School with educational-military aims. However, both the telescope and its building were ruined in the Kırım War. In 1900, Astronomy lectures called as “hayat” were given in the sciences department of universities called as “darülfünun”. In 1930’s, after İstanbul University was founded, the first staffed astronom Nüzhet Gökdoğan started the astronomy studies of Republic of Turkey. Astronomy departments were founded under science-literature faculties of Ankara and Ege Universities and graduates of these department taught astronomy at high schools. Until 1937 the astronomy information were given as separate courses such as “kozmoğrafya” in schools of “İdadi” and “Rüştiye”.
Astronomy Education 6 After 1937, astronomy lectures were given under mathematics lessons as a few weeks program and it was still compulsory at those times. Prof. Dr. Nüzhet Gökdoğan explained that because of the excuse that astronomy subjects were not asked in the ripeness examinations, teachers taught mathematics at the assigned times for astronomy. Therefore, in time astronomy subjects were taken out from the curriculum. After 1974, astronomy was no longer taught as compulsory and taught as only elective lesson up to today. Tunca asserts that a very few times astronomy elective lesson was opened and what is more the explained reasons of this situation were being lack of books and teachers of astronomy.
CURRENT STATUS OF ASTRONOMY EDUCATION IN TURKEY Obstacles of Astronomy Education According to Tunca the accepted obstacles of astronomy education were nonexistence of astronomy books and teachers and the situation that astronomy subjects are not included in the university entrance exam (UEE). But, Tunca also says that there is an astronomy book written by Turkish astronomy professors for Turkish High Schools and there are many graduates of three astronomy departments in Turk Universities. Hence, the first two claimed obstacles are not realistic. The only and important obstacle in astronomy education in Turkey is that its being of not included in university entrance exam. A solution proposal of Tunca is that making at least two hours of astronomy and space sciences lesson compulsory for high schools, he also claims that by this way, students who learned that information in an adequate level would grasp the other basic science subjects in an easier way. As a student of past, and from my own experiences I also think in the same way of Tunca. Astronomy would
Astronomy Education 7 especially help for physics and mathematics because of both its motivational-attractiveness effects and frequent use of visual-spatial thinking. Another point that Tunca (2002) asserts for solution proposal is that the providing employment fields for astronomy graduates. He mentions that alternatively these graduates are equipped adequately for being science or computer teachers in schools. Comparison of Turkey and Other Countries in terms of Astronomy Objectives Kahraman (2006) prepared a table that shows the comparison of Turkey and other countries astronomy objectives in national science education. Table .Summary of Comparison of the National Science and Education Standards of Various Countries (NSESVC) with the National Science Curriculum of Turkey with Respect to Astronomy Objectives (Kahraman, 2006) Grade level NSESVC Astronomy Objectives
• Locations, motions and properties of sky objects (from geocentric perspective) • Sun, moon, stars, clouds, birds, and airplanes • Effect of the Sun on the Earth (e.g. providing the light and heat necessary to maintain the temperature of the Earth) • Patterns of movement objects in the sky (pattern of the Sun, and Moon) • Identification of the space • Movement of objects in the sky • Properties of the sky objects
Objective in Turkish National Science Curriculum
• Identification of the space • Movement of objects in the sky • Properties of the sky objects
Astronomy Education 8
• The position of the Earth in solar system • Identification of the solar system; Moon, eight other planets, and their moons, and smaller objects (asteroids, and comets) • The Sun as a central and largest body in the solar system • Regular and predicable motion of the objects in the solar system • Motion results; the day, the year, phases of the Moon, and eclipses • Gravity as a force • The role gravity force in the solar system • The role of gravity on the Earth • Explaining the phenomena of the tides by gravity • The Sun as a source of energy that effects on the Earth’s surface e.g. plants, ground, ocean current, and water cycle • Seasons result from variations in the amount of The Sun’s energy hitting the surface; the tilt of the Earth’s rotation on its axis; the length of the day Nebular cloud of dust and forming of the universal • Evolution of the Earth • The origin of the universe • The bing-bang theory • Expanding of the universe • History of universe matter • Trillions of stars, billions of galaxies, and theirs borne • Visible mass in the universe • Stars energy from nuclear reaction, structure of the stars • Fusion of hydrogen to form helium • Investigation of the space (formation of the Sun, its layer and structural characteristics; motion of the objects in the solar system, hypothetical ideas of formation of the universal, space science, new innovation in space technologies, and space pollution) • Galaxies • Stars (The Sun, formation of the star, layer of the star and its structural characteristics, motion of the star; solar system, planets, and their moons; lunar and Sun eclipses) • Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors • Staring at the space • Formation of the universal • Space technology; spacecraft, artificial satellites, and space station • Space investigation; first step on the Moon, live on the Moon, and space pollution
CURRENT STATUS OF ASTRONOMY EDUCATION IN OTHER COUNTRIES Here are abstracts from various countries astronomy education. United States of America America is the front coming country which gives biggest importance on astronomy education. In the past they had a project called “Project Star” in which the sciences are taught in the basis of astronomy.
Astronomy Education 9 Each states of America develop their own curriculum but a directive national report called as “sequenced benchmarks for k–8 science” is prepared by a group of researches. For science content of grades from kindergarten to 8 include these astronomy topics as a chapter: Earth and Space Science 1. Characteristics of the Earth System 3. Earth’s Surface Features 5. Motion of the Earth and Moon 7. Seasons, Weather, and Climate 9. The Sun and Other Stars 2. Earth’s History 4. Energy in the Earth System 6. Rocks, Minerals, and Soil 8. The Solar System 10. The Universe
11. Water in the Earth System (from web address, ref. 3).
Alberta-Canada Alberta is a state of Canada. At that state, the science curriculum of grade 9 has a chapter of “space exploration”. This chapter includes the topics of 1. Technologies for space exploration and observation 2. Reference frames for describing position and motion in space 3. Satellites and orbits 4. Distribution of matter through space 5. Composition and characteristics of bodies in space 6. Life-support Technologies 7 Communication Technologies (from web address, ref. 2). New-Zealand New-Zealand curriculum includes a chapter of “Planet Earth and Beyond”. In their study of planet Earth and beyond, students will use their developing scientific knowledge, skills, and attitudes to: (for level 1)
Astronomy Education 10 1. investigate the composition of planet Earth and gain an understanding of the processes which shape it; 2. investigate the geological history of planet Earth and understand that our planet has a long past and has undergone many changes; 3. investigate and understand relationships between planet Earth and its solar system, galaxy, and the universe; 4. investigate how people's decisions and activities change planet Earth's physical environment, and develop a responsibility for the guardianship of planet Earth and its resources. For level 2 students can use their ideas to investigate major objects in our solar system and very noticeable environmental patterns associated with these objects, e.g., Moon, Sun, planets, day and night, shadow movements, seasons. For level 3 students can locate and use information obtained from space exploration to clarify, challenge, and extend their ideas about the general nature and behaviour of the Earth, its moon, and the other planets in our solar system, e.g., Moon missions, satellites, space stations. For level 4 students can (a) use simple technological devices to observe and describe our night sky, e.g., binoculars, simple star maps; (b) investigate and use models which explain the changing spatial relationships of the Earth, its moon, and the Sun, and the way different cultures have used these patterns to describe and measure time, and position, e.g., phases of the Moon, eclipses, tides, seasons, sun clocks. For level 5 students can (a) use simple technological devices, such as telescopes and simple star maps, to observe and describe changing patterns in our night sky, e.g., position of
Astronomy Education 11 the Moon, orientation of the Southern Cross; (b) use information obtained from technological devices, such as radio telescopes and satellites, to clarify, challenge, and extend their ideas about the general characteristics of some near and far space objects.e.g., structure, size, surface landscape, climate; the Sun and other stars, Earth's moon, planets, comets, meteors, clusters, galaxies; feasibility of life. For level 6 students can use information from a range of sources, including their own observation, to explain spatial relationships of objects in the night sky and the challenge such spatial relationships present to space exploration, e.g., distance between and changing positions of objects; theories about the origins of the Universe. For level 7 students can examine evidence from a variety of detectors to reach conclusions about the nature of stars and other celestial objects. For level 8 students can research and present a report on a current astronomical event or discovery. It is also noted that Earth science features of local and national significance should be emphasized (from web address, ref. 11). Germany Curriculum of Germany includes the topics of movements of the Moon, eclipses, optics of telescopes, seasons and in some states of Germany, a chapter called Space Science in the physics lessons for 8-12 lessons. Moreover, in some states also there are elective astronomy courses. (İbanoğlu & Tunca, 1991) Argentina
Astronomy Education 12 The interesting thing that Argentina applies in astronomy education different form other countries is that students attend the conferences about astronomy while they are visiting observatories. But, their overall astronomy content is insufficient. (İbanoğlu & Tunca, 1991).
NEW DEVELOPMENTS AND STUDIES ABOUT ASTRONOMY EDUCATION IN TURKEY New Curriculum A new physics education curriculum is being prepared by a number of academicians this year. But up to now, only 9th grade curriculum is finished and the included topics are listed in the related web site. Assist. Prof. Dr. Ali Eryılmaz from METU Education faculty is working in the same group. I had talked him about the new curriculum at the beginning of the semester and asked if they are thinking to include astronomy topics inside it. He replied as positively and advised me to follow their web site. According to the list of topics included in the new curriculum of grade 9, the included astronomy topics are: Solar System, Universe (Seasons, the Sun and the Moon, Eclipse , Ebb and Flow, Astronomic objects, stars, black holes, white holes) The new science and technology lesson curriculum was developed for elementary schools in 2005. The included astronomy objectives in that curriculum are: For 4th grade: (In Turkish) 1. Dünya’mızın şekli ile ilgili olarak öğrenciler; 1.1.Dünya’nın şeklinin küreye benzediğini ifade eder. 1.2. Dünya’nın şeklinin küreye benzediğini gösteren örnekler verir 1.3. Geçmişte, insanların Dünya’nın şekliyle ilgili çeşitli görüşlere sahip olduklarının
farkına varır For 5th grade:
Astronomy Education 13 1.Güneş, Dünya ve Ay’ın şekil ve büyüklükleriyle ilgili olarak öğrenciler; 1.1 Güneş, Dünya ve Ay’ın şeklini karşılaştırır 1.2 Geçmişte insanların, Dünya, Güneş ve Ay’ın şekliyle ilgili çeşitli görüşler ileri sürdüklerinin farkına varır 1.3 Güneş, Dünya ve Ay’ı büyüklüklerine göre sıralar 1.4 Güneş, Dünya ve Ay’ı bir arada temsil eden kendine özgü bir model oluşturur ve sunar 1.5 Cisimlerin uzaklaştıkça daha küçük görüldükleri çıkarımını yapar 1.6 Güneş’in Dünya’ya göre, Ay’dan daha uzak olduğu sonucunu çıkarır . 2.Dünya’nın hareketleri ile ilgili olarak öğrenciler; 2.1.Dünya’nın kendi etrafında döndüğünü ifade eder. 2.2.Dünya’nın kendi etrafında bir tam dönüşünü tamamladığı sürenin, bir gün olarak kabul edildiğini ifade eder. 2.3.Gece-gündüz oluşumunu, Dünya’nın kendi etrafındaki dönme hareketiyle açıklar 2.4.Güneş’in gökyüzünde gün boyunca hareket ediyor gözükmesini, Dünya’nın kendi etrafındaki dönme hareketiyle açıklar 2.5.Dünya’nın kendi etrafında dönerken aynı zamanda Güneş etrafında da dolandığını ifade eder. Dünya’nın Güneş etrafında bir tam dolanımını tamamladığı sürenin, bir yıl olarak kabul edildiğini belirtir. 3.Ay’ın hareketleri ile ilgili olarak öğrenciler; 3.1.Ay’ın kendi etrafında dönerken aynı zamanda da Dünya etrafında dolandığını ifade eder. 3.2.Dünya ve Ay’ın hareketlerini gösteren kendine özgü bir model oluşturur ve sunar
Astronomy Education 14 3.3.Dünya’dan bakıldığında Ay’ın daima aynı yüzünün gözlendiğini açıklar 3.4.Ay’ın evrelerini belirli aralıklarla gözlemler ve gözlem sonuçlarını kaydeder 3.5.Gözlemlerine dayanarak Ay’ın evrelerinin düzenli olarak tekrar eden bir doğa olayı olduğu sonucunu çıkarır 3.6.Ay’ın evrelerini, Ay’ın Dünya etrafındaki dolanma hareketiyle açıklar 3.7.Ay’ın evrelerini temsil eden bir model oluşturur ve sunar . Gölge oluşumu ile ilgili olarak öğrenciler; 3.1. Gölgenin nasıl oluştuğunu keşfeder. 3.2. Işık kaynağının, cismin veya ekranın yeri değiştirildiğinde; cismin gölgesinin büyüklüğünün, yerinin ve/veya şeklinin değişebileceğini fark eder 3.3. Gölgenin, cismin büyüklüğü ve şekline göre değişeceğini gösterir. 3.4. Gölge oluşumunu basit ışın çizimleri ile gösterir. 3.5. İki veya daha fazla ışık kaynağı olan bir ortamda, bir cismin birden fazla gölgesinin oluşabileceğini fark eder . 4. Bir güneş saati yaparak zamanı bulmayla ilgili olarak öğrenciler; 4.1.Teknolojik tasarımın aşamalarını uygulayarak bir güneş saati modeli geliştirir . 4.2. Güneş saati modeli tasarlarken izlediği yolun bir teknolojik tasarım süreci olduğunu fark eder . 4.3. Bir çubuğun gölge boyunu, günün farklı zamanlarında doğrulukla ölçer. 4.4. Elde ettiği ölçümleri tabloya kaydeder 4.5.Gölge boyu-zaman ilişkisini gösteren bir sütun grafiği çizer 5.Güneş ve Ay Tutulmasıyla ilgili olarak öğrenciler; 5.1. Güneş ve Ay tutulmasının ışıkla ilgili bir olay olduğu fark eder. 5.2. Güneş ve Ay tutulması olaylarını hazırlayacağı modellerle gösterir ve sunar
Astronomy Education 15 5.3. Güneş ve Ay tutulması olaylarını karşılaştırır, benzerlik ve farklılıklarını listeler.
Need Analysis Again in his study, Kahraman (2006) applied a questionnaire to 3313 students of elementary and high schools in order to see the need of Turkey’s astronomy education. According to the responses of students it is found that for elementary school students simpler and concrete astronomy topics are more popular. Percentages of the preferred astronomy subjects of elementary school students are shown in Table 2.
Table 2. Percentages of the preferred astronomy subjects of elementary school students (Adapted from Kahraman, 2006) TOPICS % OF STUDENTS PREFER THE TOPIC 63.8 68.1 85.4 TOPICS % OF STUDENTS PREFER THE TOPIC 60.9 73.9 75.7
T.1 Light & Shadow (Ex. The behaviour of light. Forms of shadows) T.2 Mass gravity force of it on the objects (Ex.Gravity force and Tides) T.3 The motion of the sun and the planets (Ex. The orbit of the Planets and their features) T.4 The effects of the Sun on the life on Earth (Ex. The importance of the Sun as an energy source and its effects on the ecology systems on Earth) T.5.The motion of the Earth in a day and around the Sun
T.8. The concept of time and calendars T.9.Telescopes, satellites and their usages T.10.Space studies (Ex. Apollo. Hubble) T.11.Stars and huge celestial bodies (Ex. Nebulas, galaxies) T.12.Form of the Universe and its
Astronomy Education 16 (Ex. The formulation of day and night. A year and seasons) T.6.The relationships of the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon with each other (Ex. Solar and lunar eclipse) T.7. History of Astronomy (Ex. Copernic. Kepler. Galileo. Tycho. Newton) evolution (Ex. Birth of stars and galaxies. Their forms and evolution) T.13.Other life forms and other solar systems T.14.Virtual lines in the sky: horoscopes signs
For elementary school level, Kahraman concluded that “there is a need to increase the interest level of these students in more abstract subjects such as history of astronomy, light and shadow, and the concept of time and calendars etc” (p.50). Kahraman also asked the students with open-ended questions if there are any other topics they want to learn and which are not mentioned in the questionnaire part. Table 3 show the topics that elementary students want to learn. Table.3 Astronomy Subjects Added by the Elementary School Students (Kahraman, 2006). Main Topic Astronomy Astronouts Subtopics Definition of astronomy / Importance of astronomy / Field of Who the astronauts are / Preparations of the astronauts before going to the space / Life of the astronauts in the space / Duties and jobs of astronauts in the space / Properties of astronauts’ clothes / Criteria needed to be an astronaut / The way of nourishment of the astronauts in the space How the Moon appears at nights / Whether it rotates / How it exists / Why the Moon’s appearance changes in a month / Reasons for lunar eclipse / Whether there is a gravity force on the Moon / Whether there are any life forms on the Moon / How people can travel from the Earth to the Moon / Effects of the Moon on the Earth / Reason of the brightness of the Moon / Characteristics of the soil on the Moon How the Earth exists / How and why the Earth rotates and why it is spherical / Why we do not feel the rotation of the Earth / How the appearance of the Earth looks like in the space / The distance
Astronomy Education 17 between the Earth and the other planets / What relationships there are between the Earth and the other planets / How great the gravity of the Earth is / The layers of the Earth and their properties / Whether there is a planet bigger than the Earth / The importance of the Earth in the universe / What kind of objects rotate around the Earth / The evolution process of the Earth Universe What the universe is / How the universe took its shape / What the boundaries of the universe are / Whether there are any life forms in the universe / The way of living in the universe better / How many planets and stars there are in the universe / How the directions are determined in the universe / What the size and temperature of the universe are / How the universe expands / The structure of the universe Galaxies Other Planets Formation and properties of the galaxies Formation of the planets / Information about the planets / Life forms in the planets / Relationships between the planets and their satellites / Probability of traveling among planets / Weight of the planets / Unusual events in the planets / Size of the planets and distance among them / Comparison of the Earth to the planets Formation of the sky / Prediction and comprehension of the sky objects’ motion / Why sky is blue / How the sky hangs on the air Formation of the Sun / Distance between the Sun and the Earth / Properties of the planets in the solar system / Formation of the solar system / Reasons for the solar eclipse / Effects of the Sun in the universe / Bigger stars than the Sun / Solar energy / Reason for the rise of the Sun and sunset / The layers of the Sun and properties of each layer / The reason why the Sun warm the Earth but the Moon does not / Types of the beams in the Sun / Reasons why the Sun does not slide like the other stars Properties of the Mars / Life forms on the Mars / Whether there is water on the Mars / The way to travel to the Mars What the space is, its shape, its size and its limit / What the space ship is and how it can be produced / For what space ships are used and which materials are used in the space ships / Kinds of space ships launched in the space / Space stations / Information about space clothes / Formation of the space / who the first person in the space was / Life of the astronauts in the space / How the space ships can come back the Earth / How a person can go out in the space / Information about space travel / Why space ships reveal the some of their parts when they launch and why some of them break into pieces in the air / Reason for lack of the gravity in the space / How a person and animals live in the space / How the astronauts move in the space/ What kinds of materials and devices are used in the space / Whether there is an UFO in the space / Space
Sky The Sun
Astronomy Education 18 studies and information about space garbage Stars Stars and its properties / Existence of the stars and their lifetime / Whether all stars are hot / How they turn into black holes / How they shine / Information about star systems / Why stars appear at night / How they hang on the air / What the shapes of the stars look like / Evolution of the stars / What a comet is and its properties Other solar systems / What the bing bang is / What a meteorite is and how it is formed / What the invisible light in the Earth is / How a day, a moth, and a year are originated / What light year is / What a black hole is and how it is formed / Global warming and its reasons / What the mass attraction force is / Milky way and its properties
Moreover, about the methods that elementary school students prefer to be taught astronomy topics by, study showed that experimentation and observations are the popular ones among other methods. In other words, students want to learn astronomy by being active and in a scientific way. These are very nice results I think. The results are a bit different for high school students. Percentages of the preferred astronomy subjects of high school students are shown in Table 3. Table 3. Percentages of the preferred astronomy subjects of high school students (Adapted from Kahraman, 2006) TOPICS % OF STUDENTS PREFER THE TOPIC 44.2 54.1 77.0 TOPICS % OF STUDENTS PREFER THE TOPIC 55.4 73.8 82.4
T.1 Light & Shadow (Ex. The behaviour of light. Forms of shadows) T.2 Mass gravity force of it on the objects (Ex.Gravity force and Tides) T.3 The motion of the sun and the planets (Ex. The orbit of the Planets and their features) T.4 The effects of the Sun on the life on Earth (Ex. The importance of the
T.8. The concept of time and calendars T.9.Telescopes, satellites and their usages T.10.Space studies (Ex. Apollo. Hubble) T.11.Stars and huge celestial bodies
Astronomy Education 19 Sun as an energy source and its effects on the ecology systems on Earth) T.5.The motion of the Earth in a day and around the Sun (Ex. The formulation of day and night. A year and seasons) T.6.The relationships of the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon with each other (Ex. Solar and lunar eclipse) T.7. History of Astronomy (Ex. Copernic. Kepler. Galileo. Tycho. Newton) 71.8 (Ex. Nebulas, galaxies) T.12.Form of the Universe and its evolution (Ex. The birth of stars and galaxies. Their forms and evolution) T.13.Other life forms and other solar systems T.14.Virtual lines in the sky: horoscopes signs 84.5
By these responses Kahraman concluded that high school students also prefer topics which arouse interest and attention. Extra topics that high students want to learn are shown in Table 3. Table.3 Astronomy Subjects Added by the Secondary School Students (Kahraman, 2006). Main Topic Astronomy Astronouts Subtopics Main goals of astronomy / Effects of astronomy in the future / Mythological aspects of astronomy Criteria for being an astronaut / Tasks and duties of the astronauts / Education period of astronauts / Interesting experiences of astronauts / Daily life of astronauts in the space (nourishment, basic needs etc.) / Whether there is an astronomy school for this job in Turkey Formulation of the Earth / Theories related with the end of the Earth Formulation of the universe / Possible life forms in the universe / Theories related with the existence of the universe / The beginning of the time and the universe / Universe-matter-time relations Formulation of galaxies / Types of galaxies and their properties / Possibility of traveling to other galaxies
The Earth Universe
Astronomy Education 20 Other Planets Formulation of the planets / Possibility of life forms in the planets / Conditions needed to live on the other planets / Structure of the planets / Steps of the investigation of the new planets / Motion of the planets in the solar system / Distant planets Effects of the Sun on other planets in the solar system / The amount of the solar energy and the time of its coming to an end Space ships and their properties / Space ships’ technology / Artificial satellites and principle working of them / Areas to use them and benefits of them to the nations / Steps of going to the space / Whether there are any life forms in the space / Whether there is a UFO in the space / Theories about the UFOs / The reason why the gravity force is low in the space Formulation of the stars / Way of measuring distance of the stars from the Earth / Comets and their properties Formulation of the stars / Way of measuring distance of the stars from the Earth / Comets and their properties
The Sun Space
Moreover, majority of high school students answered the question of which method of instruction would be more necessary to learn astronomy subjects better as making connections with daily life experiences. Also, students want the usage of visual materials and technologies in the course and want to be educated by qualified teachers. These are important needs of the effective astronomy courses indeed. For the see the opinions of teachers about the astronomy education, in the same study 110 science – physics teachers were involved. The significant things they said are the topics of “the effects of the Sun on the life on earth” and “the motion of the Earth in a day and
around the Sun” are the most necessary ones to be included in an astronomy course. For the appropriate grade of subjects that teachers said that: -Concept of time and calendars, -The relationships of the Sun, the Earth and the Moon with each other -motions of the Earth -Effect of the Sun on life on the Earth are appropriate for grades of primary school.
Astronomy Education 21 For elementary school the topics of: -Light and shadow - Motion of the Sun ad planets - Axis inclination of the Earth and its results -Telescopes, satellites and their usages - Mass gravity force and its effects on objects are appropriate. For high school level, the topics of: -Space studies -Stars and huge celestial bodies -The role of gravity force in the solar system -Form of the universe and its evolution -Relativity -Expansion of the universe and its fate -History of the astronomy -Other life forms and other solar systems In 1990, a commission composed of three scientist who are Cemal Aydın, Osman Demircan and Halil Kırbıyık ( Demircan, 1991) prepared a report about the astronomy education needs. These were: - In grades 5 and 6 there should be asn minimum of two hours of astronomy as a separate lesson. - Physics education programs shoul include astronomy courses. - Current physics teachers should be trained in astronomy subjects by designed summer courses. - Renewal of astronomy topics in the science lessons in elementary school should be done. The topic that commission wanted to include in the astronomy curriculum were like that:
Astronomy Education 22 Location and time in space Astronomy tools Solar system Stars Galaxies and universe Space studies.
SUGGESTIONS, IMPLICATIONS & DISCUSSIONS We can see from the results of need analysis for Turkish astronomy education that percentages of students preferred the astronomy topics are above % 60 for each one of the topics. These are very high ratios and imply that Turkish students have positive attitudes towards astronomy learning. Moreover, it is found again from the same analysis that students want to learn many other additional topics about astronomy. But when we compare the percentages of high school and elementary schools preferred topics, it is clear that percentages of elementary school students are considerably higher than of high school students. Therefore, we can say that interest in astronomy topics has a tendency to decrease as grade of students increase. Hence, this implies that astronomy education should be plausible to be integrated in earlier grades. That; a modern and concentrated astronomy education in all grades starting from primary school, is also what Koçer (1991) asserted as solution proposal to make our facilities of astronomy real. However, beside these, all ratios are still high for both levels. To conclude by considering these, it is turned out to be an obligation for our researchers to develop an astronomy program integrated in all levels of education before university and to use our students’ available interest in an effective way so by. In the study of Kahraman some number of elementary school students suggested that “there must be private rooms which are used for astronomy activities in the school”. I think
Astronomy Education 23 this is a very fascinating idea of students and may be the starting point of building small observatories in schools. Vanichai (2003) a scientist from Thailand mentioned about the need of science teachers training about astronomy. He said that in Thailand “training programs in short period of upgrade school teachers are frequently arranged in many universities” (p.33). Moreover, about the astronomy books he asserted that due to the need of following observations and researches that fluctuate frequently it is a difficult task to write an upgraded astronomical book in consequence. Vanichai also said that for usage of multimedia computer-assisted instruction programs about earth and star a project is being done with educational technology department in Burapha University. What is more and very attractive he said is I think that the private observatories and star camping which are arranged frequently by amateur astronomers can help to observe the real sky. I think those activities can be appropriately done in our country, Turkey. Vanichai said that while students follow astronomy, guidance from real experts is requisite for real improvement. Low price small telescopes are also useful for awaking interest of students in astronomy. I think that all proposals that Vanichai made are also suitable and needed for Turkish schools. The most important implication of this report is that like many other countries Turkey should also include astronomy topics as wide as they did, and also in a meaningful
educational manner. It is obvious that the collaborative work of astronomers and educators is very important for this important duty.
Astronomy Education 24 REFERENCES 1. Adams, P. J., & Stater, F. T. (2000). Astronomy in the National Science Education Standards. Geoscience Education, 48(1), 39-45. 2. Alberta’s Kindergarten to Grade 12 Curriculum: Programs of Studies,http://www.learning.gov.ab.ca/k_12/curriculum/bySubject/default.asp#ecs, Last access date October 2004. 3. American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1993). Benchmarks for Science Literacy. Retrieved April 07, 2007 from www.project2061.org.
4. Aslan, Z., Aydın, C., Demircan, O., Kırbıyık, H., Derman, E. (1996). Astronomi ve
Uzay Bilimleri Ders Kitabı. Ankara: Tekışık Yayıncılık. 5. Demircan, O. (1991). Türkiye’de temel ve ortaöğretimde astronomi. Türkiye ve Dünyada Astronomi Eğitimi-Öğretimi, Prof. Dr. Kamuran Avcıoğlu Sempozyumu Kitapçığı, 16 Temmuz, 1991. 6. Kahraman, O. (2006). A Needs Analysıs To Develop An Astronomy Program For Turkish Elementary And Secondary Schools. Unpublished Master Thesis, Middle East Technical University. 7. Kendall, S. J., DeFrees, L. K., & Richardson, A. (2003). Sequenced benchmarks for K-8 Science, http: //www.mcrel.org/PDF/Standards/5021TG_Science_Sequenced_bms.pdf., Last access date June 2007. 8. Kırbıyık, H., Kızıloğlu, Ü., Kızıloğlu, N., Civelek, F. R., & Beklen, E. (2007). Evren nasıl oluştu? ODTÜ Yayıncılık: Ankara. 9. Kırbıyık, H. Notes form Presentation about History of Astronomy. April, 2007
Astronomy Education 25 10. Koçer, D. (1991). The speech text of head master of İstanbul University Observatory Center of Research and Application. Türkiye ve Dünyada Astronomi Eğitimi-Öğretimi, Prof. Dr. Kamuran Avcıoğlu Sempozyumu Kitapçığı, 16 Temmuz, 1991. 11. Science in the New Zealand Curriculum, http://www.minedu.govt.nz/web/downloadable/d13525 v/1sci-nzc.pdf., Last access date October 2004. 12. Tunca, Z. (2002). V. Fen Bilimleri ve Matematik Eğitimi Kongresi, http://www.fedu.metu.edu.tr/ufbmek-5/b_kitabi/b_kitabi.htm., Last access date April 2007. 13. Vanichai, Y. (2003). Our Attempts in Astronomy. Teaching of Astronomy in Science Pasific Region , Bulletin no: 20, November, 2003. Web address. Retrived in June 6, 2007 from www.fizikprogrami.com
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