Letters of Intent for 2015

LoI 2015-210
Research in Astronomy Education: Results and Future Directions

Date: 5 August 2015 to 7 August 2015
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Contact: Paulo Bretones (bretones@ufscar.br)
Coordinating division: Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage
Chair of SOC: Paulo S. Bretones (University of Wyoming)
Chair of LOC: Timothy F. Slater (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)



• Historical overview: what has been done, what not?
• State-of-the-art of astronomy education research in countries/continents on papers/dissertations/meetings
• Meta-analysis of astronomy education research on contents/school grade levels/focus on education cross studies
• Astronomy misunderstandings across the globe
• Use of AER experiments and results by teachers and museum educators
• Innovations in research methodologies and instrumentation
• Measuring museum and planetarium learning
• Research into the value and influence of astronomy education in other disciplines
• Interplay of students’ worldviews with the worldview of science in a globalizing world
• Impact research on leveraging new media and information systems for teaching and learning
• Mapping a proposed research agenda for next decade



Rationale: Astronomy education research has become a respected subdiscipline of astronomy. Scientific results from this field have great potential to enhance the teaching and learning of astronomy for learners of many ages. New results and research methodologies from the cognition and learning sciences domains are now able to influence the work of astronomy educators, who are able to make informed innovations for the teaching of astronomy. Generally, professional astronomers who have responsibilities that include teaching are not aware of the results of astronomy education research, and this symposium can help expand attendees awareness of results, as well as provide a forum for active scholars in astronomy education to jointly plan the research agenda for the upcoming decade, aiming at an increase of the quality and impact of astronomy education.

Purpose and Goals: The primary goal of this Focus Meeting is to bring together astronomy education scholars to plot a ‘next steps’ roadmap and a global astronomy education research agenda for the next 10 years, while honoring the research results from the past. This FM will feature key speakers who are international leaders in discipline-based education research in astronomy and the planetary science via Invited Talks. Contributed Talks are solicited from astronomers who have conducted astronomy education research studies, with a particular emphasis on how developing an understanding of the underlying mental mechanisms learners use when engaging in astronomy with respect to how this influences teaching innovation. This FM will be especially valuable to those astronomers who are actively involved in teaching, education, and outreach, but are not able to conduct fundamental astronomy education research themselves.