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ERIC Number: EJ1056955
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Learning from the Starry Message: Using Galileo's "Sidereus Nuncius" in Introductory Astronomy Classes
Wiesner, Matthew P.
Physics Teacher, v53 n3 p146-150 Mar 2015
Every introductory astronomy class encounters Galileo during the course as the first man to systematically study the sky with a telescope. Every Astronomy 101 student meets Galileo as one of the major catalysts behind the shift from the Ptolemaic to the Copernican system and as one of the great minds behind the scientific method. But most of the time Galileo is just an inset on page 17 with one of the canonical portraits, appearing in students' lists of six early astronomers that need to be memorized for the first exam. I have tried to find ways to overcome such shallow educational experiences in introductory astronomy. In order to bring students to a real encounter with Galileo, I have assigned reading of an excerpt from Galileo's "Sidereus Nuncius," "The Starry Message," followed by an inclass discussion of the text.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A