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4A - 4B - 4C - 4D - 4E

Module 4: How the Students See It

E. Teaching Approaches

Things to remember:

Encourage students to discuss their ideas about a subject before attempting to teach it. Identify a few alternative viewpoints and encourage discussion about which point of view best explains the observations.

Contrast a difficult problem (referred to as the “target problem”), with a simpler problem of the same type (referred to as the “anchor”).
Example: In the Martian Moon Problem most people select the right phase for Deimos, but have difficulty with Phobos. Make Deimos the “anchor” problem.

Conceptual change is more likely after several activities that address the same concept. Classroom activities which complement planetarium programs are likely to be an effective approach to conceptual change.

Teachers cannot simply “teach” reasoning skills. Students must construct them on their own, just as they must construct concepts by modifying or replacing their current ideas with new ones. Telling students how to solve problems is not as helpful in developing new reasoning skills as giving them hints once they begin to seek new reasoning patterns on their own.






Instruction and Knowledge




 

About Reasoning Skills, keep in mind:
  1. Many students will approach astronomy problems with concrete or egocentric reasoning. They will not participate unless they can start at their own level.

  2. Some topics can be understood with concrete or egocentric approaches, but others require formal reasoning. Carefully select topics to design programs which begin at the level of your students.

  3. If students can become involved in a topic at a level which is comfortable for them, and then are challenged by slightly more complex or unexpected information, they may experience intellectual growth, improving their abilities in general areas such as
         using different frames of reference,
         classifying objects and events, and
         formulating explanations
    .
When planning planetarium programs, refer to the summary of the Piagetian levels of reasoning for the three ability areas discussed in this module. 

The problem below provides an opportunity to integrate all of the information provided in this module.





Teaching Reasons for the Seasons

Goal: By high school a student will be able to provide a formal level explanation for the seasons. 

Based on your knowledge of levels of reasoning ability, 
outline experiences and explanations you would provide.


FIRST GRADE
  1. Experiences and explanations in the planetarium
  2. Experiences and explanations in the classroom
  3. Experiences outdoors
FIFTH GRADE
  1. Experiences and explanations in the planetarium
  2. Experiences and explanations in the classroom
  3. Experiences outdoors
TENTH GRADE
  1. Experiences and explanations in the planetarium
  2. Experiences and explanations in the classroom
  3. Experiences outdoors

4A - 4B - 4C - 4D - 4E