Pedagogical and Curricular Thinking of Professional Astronomers Teaching the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram in Introductory Astronomy Courses for Non-Science Majors

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/195246
Title:
Pedagogical and Curricular Thinking of Professional Astronomers Teaching the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram in Introductory Astronomy Courses for Non-Science Majors
Author:
Brogt, Erik
Issue Date:
2009
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This qualitative study explores the pedagogical and curricular thinking of five professional astronomers, faculty at a university, about teaching the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram in introductory astronomy courses for non-science majors. Data sources for this study included two semi-structured interviews per participant, in which they were asked about teaching the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, as well as about the introductory course in general. In addition, participants were asked to complete four cognitive tasks; the creation of a lesson plan, a concept map on how they would like their students to think about the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram at the end of the course, a Pathfinder network rating task, and responding to stereotypical student statements regarding the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.The data was analyzed using a case study approach, followed by a discussion of themes that emerged from the data. Results indicate that participants had primarily affect and process goals for the course, rather than content goals. In addition, they wanted students to view the HR diagram as a part of a flow chart, where input physics (both observed and inferred properties of stars) leads to the construction of the HR diagram, which in turn is used to make inferences about stellar evolution. Participants identified several student difficulties with the HR diagram, among which interpreting a graph was the most pertinent. In several stereotypical student statements, participants responded using the exact same analogies to explain the concepts to the students. This may be indicative of some underlying pedagogical content knowledge.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Teaching & Teacher Education; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Carter, Kathy
Committee Chair:
Carter, Kathy

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titlePedagogical and Curricular Thinking of Professional Astronomers Teaching the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram in Introductory Astronomy Courses for Non-Science Majorsen_US
dc.creatorBrogt, Eriken_US
dc.contributor.authorBrogt, Eriken_US
dc.date.issued2009en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis qualitative study explores the pedagogical and curricular thinking of five professional astronomers, faculty at a university, about teaching the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram in introductory astronomy courses for non-science majors. Data sources for this study included two semi-structured interviews per participant, in which they were asked about teaching the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, as well as about the introductory course in general. In addition, participants were asked to complete four cognitive tasks; the creation of a lesson plan, a concept map on how they would like their students to think about the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram at the end of the course, a Pathfinder network rating task, and responding to stereotypical student statements regarding the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.The data was analyzed using a case study approach, followed by a discussion of themes that emerged from the data. Results indicate that participants had primarily affect and process goals for the course, rather than content goals. In addition, they wanted students to view the HR diagram as a part of a flow chart, where input physics (both observed and inferred properties of stars) leads to the construction of the HR diagram, which in turn is used to make inferences about stellar evolution. Participants identified several student difficulties with the HR diagram, among which interpreting a graph was the most pertinent. In several stereotypical student statements, participants responded using the exact same analogies to explain the concepts to the students. This may be indicative of some underlying pedagogical content knowledge.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineTeaching & Teacher Educationen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorCarter, Kathyen_US
dc.contributor.chairCarter, Kathyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberDoyle, Walteren_US
dc.contributor.committeememberTomanek, Debraen_US
dc.identifier.proquest10345en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659751959en_US
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