ERIC Number: ED316408
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Knowledge Acquisition in Observational Astronomy.
This paper presents findings from research on knowledge acquisition in observational astronomy to demonstrate the kinds of intuitive models children form and to show how these models influence the acquisition of science knowledge. Sixty children of approximate ages 6, 9, and 12 were given a questionnaire to investigate their knowledge of the size, shape, and motion of the earth and the sun, and the notion of gravity. The results showed that children formed an intuitive understanding of the world around them based on their belief of the earth as flat and stationary rather than a rotating sphere. As a result, they infer that things fall in a downward direction rather than toward the center of the rotating sphere, things fall in a downward direction rather then toward the center of the spherical earth, and the sun and the moon move in an up/down or east/west direction, causing the day/night cycle. Children eventually change their intuitive understanding as they are exposed to the Copernican theory of the solar system. The process of conceptual change is a slow and gradual one and one that goes through different levels of understanding. (Author/YP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.