An Analysis of Peer-Reviewed Papers on Astronomy Education Published From 2007 to 2018 in Japan
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Co-authors: Hidehiko Agata, Junya Terazono, Naoki Matsumoto, Shigeyuki Karino
We analyzed 102 peer-reviewed papers on astronomy education published in academic journals from 2007 to 2012 in Japan. There is no single primary academic journal for astronomy education research, and the papers have been published in various journals. About one fourth of the papers are related to topics in elementary school. In total, 80 % of the papers are related to school curriculum contents. On the other hand, the number of papers on training of in-service teachers and museum curators is small. About one third of the papers deal with the lunar phase, which is one of the main topics in elementary school astronomy curriculum. About two thirds of the papers are related to the solar system bodies, which means that most of the research papers do not deal with the realm of stars and galaxies. Compared with cases in international journals and meetings, Japanese astronomy education research focuses on issues in elementary school contents, and in terms of concept, research related to Sun-Moon-Earth system is most common and that on Earth is rare. Most of the papers present the development of teaching material and examples of implementation using the materials in class and evaluate the practice using the post-test questionnaire method. As for the first author of the paper, more than two thirds are university staff and most of the others are school teachers. The number of papers whose first authors are students is small, meaning that the Japanese community needs more effort in astronomy education researcher training.