Astronomy in the Curriculum and the Classroom. Where to now?
All Sessions by Robert Hollow
Tuesday - September 17, 2019
Keynote 2 - Astronomy in the Curriculum and the Classroom. Where to now?
09:00 - 10:00
Astronomy is a subject that can inspire, engage and enthral children. Basic astronomical concepts are found in most science curricula around the world although astronomy is seldom presented as a separate subject. Recent reviews of global curricula have identified strong similarities in content and, also, the year level at which the content are introduced. Research however reveals that it is a topic often poorly taught and one in which students complete their education with misconceptions still heavily entrenched. Many teachers lack the confidence or training to successfully address these misconceptions in order to effectively teach the required syllabus. All of these points are implicit in the establishment, value and role of the new Office of Astronomy for Education. Whilst the likelihood of astronomy ever having a central role in science curricula is slight it provides an excellent example of a gateway science. Rather than just focussing on basic astronomical concepts (though not ignoring or removing them), astronomy can also be used to engage students and help them develop critical thinking, inquiry skills, information technology, understanding of big datasets and accessing. modern observing opportunities. Using examples based on recent curricula opportunities and issues at the school level are discussed, particularly in the context of the recent IAU Framework for Astronomy Literacy Some challenges for groups working on developing or implementing new programs are presented together with a call for ongoing collaboration and sharing of best practice.