Pre-Service Teachers’ Conceptions of Specific Astronomy Concepts: A Longitudinal Investigation

Cumhur TURK, Nilay SENER, Huseyin KALKAN


The aim of this study is to determine the changes in the knowledge of pre-service Primary and Science teachers related to basic astronomy concepts occurring after four years of undergraduate study in education and the extent of and reasons for these changes. For this purpose, a "Basic Astronomy Test" involving 14 questions was administered to the pre-service Primary and Science teachers by education faculty members in the Black Sea Region of Turkey in the first (2009) and fourth (2013) years of their educations. In the data analysis, nonparametric Mann-Whitney U tests and Wilcoxon signed ranks tests were used to determine whether achievement levels of pre-service teachers in basic astronomy concepts are related to the teaching program, year and their gender. Data analysis revealed that although the knowledge of basic astronomy topics of the students attending a program for Primary and Science teaching were the same in the first year of education, a statistically significant difference was observed in the knowledge levels of pre-service Science teachers after a four-year undergraduate education. In addition, the study also revealed that pre-service teachers had some misconceptions about basic astronomy concepts in their first year of undergraduate education. We observed a decrease in a number of these misconceptions, but others remained unchanged at the end of a four-year of education. It is recommended to include an astronomy course in the curriculum of the Primary teaching program and to increase the hours of the astronomy courses in the curriculum of the Science teaching program.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Cumhur TURK, Nilay SENER, Huseyin KALKAN

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Journal of Social Science Studies ISSN 2329-9150

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