ERIC Number: ED404098
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Designing Curricula for Conceptual Restructuring: Lessons from the Study of Knowledge Acquisition in Astronomy.
This document examines children's and adults' knowledge of observational astronomy and characterizes the kinds of mental models students form when asked questions in astronomy. Mental models were grouped into three categories: intuitive, synthetic, and scientific. Implications for the design of curricula and for instruction are identified. In designing curricula in domains where learning requires the restructuring of prior knowledge, particular attention must be paid to the sequence in which the various concepts that comprise a given domain are introduced. It is suggested that instruction consistent with the sequence of acquisition of these concepts will be more successful than instruction that is not. The texts written should provide adequate explanations of the scientific concepts that are introduced, explanations that take into account the mental models and entrenched beliefs the students may have based on their everyday experience. Particular attention must be paid to providing students with situations that make them realize that what they may consider as facts about the world may be interpretations subject to falsification, and that sometimes there can be good reasons for replacing their existing beliefs with a new explanatory framework. Contains 35 references. (Author/MDH)
Descriptors: Astronomy, Beliefs, Cognitive Processes, Cognitive Restructuring, Cognitive Structures, Curriculum Design, Curriculum Development, Elementary Secondary Education, Metacognition, Misconceptions, Science Curriculum, Science Education, Science Instruction, Scientific Concepts, Student Characteristics
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.