Empirical Accuracy and Consistency in College Students' Knowledge of Classical Astronomy

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/11290/607944
Title:
Empirical Accuracy and Consistency in College Students' Knowledge of Classical Astronomy
Authors:
Rudmann, Darrell S.
Abstract:
This study focuses on how college students explain basic astronomical phenomena and the nature of those explanations, moving beyond existing research of astronomy misconceptions and shedding new light on the nature of knowledge representation and the stability of knowledge. Fifty college students answered a questionnaire that asked for explanations of six classical astronomical phenomena (the solar system, day/night cycle, seasons, lunar phases, and solar and lunar eclipses) and were re-tested in an interview. The participants gave confidence ratings for their explanations, and tried to apply their explanations to several hypothetical scenarios. The participants also completed a general spatial ability test and a spatial ability test specifically designed for the classical astronomy domain. Explanations that were more scientifically accurate were the most consistent over time, were given higher confidence ratings, were better applied to the hypothetical scenarios, and were the most internally consistent with explanations for other phenomena. These explanations showed characteristics most like the theorized form of knowledge representation of a mental “theory.” In contrast, other non-scientific explanations were more likely to change over time, had lower confidence ratings, and were often internally inconsistent with other knowledge or were so primitive that they provided no conceptual connections to explanations for other related phenomena. Only one non-scientific explanation showed traits similar to more scientifically-accurate knowledge, a common explanation of the lunar phases based on Earth occluding light from the Sun. The nature of knowledge representation of novices, kinds of inconsistencies in knowledge, and the hypothetical relationship between the presence of inconsistencies and stages of learning are discussed.
Affiliation:
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Issue Date:
2005
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/11290/607944
Submitted date:
2015-09-26
Document Source:
Dissertation/Thesis
Language:
English Paper
Type Of Resource:
Empirical Research
Empirical Methodology:
Mixed Methods
Learning Environment:
Formal
Subjects:
College Students
Construct:
Content Knowledge Spatial Reasoning Nature of Science
Content:
General/Broad Knowledge of Astronomy Content
Nation:
USA
Appears in Collections:
Astronomy Education Research

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorRudmann, Darrell S.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-05-04T08:58:27Zen
dc.date.available2016-05-04T08:58:27Zen
dc.date.issued2005en
dc.date.submitted2015-09-26en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11290/607944en
dc.description.abstractThis study focuses on how college students explain basic astronomical phenomena and the nature of those explanations, moving beyond existing research of astronomy misconceptions and shedding new light on the nature of knowledge representation and the stability of knowledge. Fifty college students answered a questionnaire that asked for explanations of six classical astronomical phenomena (the solar system, day/night cycle, seasons, lunar phases, and solar and lunar eclipses) and were re-tested in an interview. The participants gave confidence ratings for their explanations, and tried to apply their explanations to several hypothetical scenarios. The participants also completed a general spatial ability test and a spatial ability test specifically designed for the classical astronomy domain. Explanations that were more scientifically accurate were the most consistent over time, were given higher confidence ratings, were better applied to the hypothetical scenarios, and were the most internally consistent with explanations for other phenomena. These explanations showed characteristics most like the theorized form of knowledge representation of a mental “theory.” In contrast, other non-scientific explanations were more likely to change over time, had lower confidence ratings, and were often internally inconsistent with other knowledge or were so primitive that they provided no conceptual connections to explanations for other related phenomena. Only one non-scientific explanation showed traits similar to more scientifically-accurate knowledge, a common explanation of the lunar phases based on Earth occluding light from the Sun. The nature of knowledge representation of novices, kinds of inconsistencies in knowledge, and the hypothetical relationship between the presence of inconsistencies and stages of learning are discussed.en
dc.description.provenanceMade available in DSpace on 2016-05-04T08:58:27Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 0bb39b35-e670-4014-8d9b-fb656a0f3fbf.pdf: 5076147 bytes, checksum: d71c0c5e66064a04a1d5c00ea8f63bdb (MD5) Previous issue date: 2005en
dc.language.isoEnglish Paperen
dc.titleEmpirical Accuracy and Consistency in College Students' Knowledge of Classical Astronomyen
dc.typeDissertation/Thesisen
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Illinois, Urbana-Champaignen
dc.type.resourceEmpirical Researchen
dc.istar.learningenvironmentFormalen
dc.istar.constructContent Knowledge Spatial Reasoning Nature of Scienceen
dc.istar.contentGeneral/Broad Knowledge of Astronomy Contenten
dc.istar.nationUSAen
dc.istar.empiricalmethodologyMixed Methodsen
dc.istar.subjectCollege Studentsen
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