Astronomy in Early Childhood Education: A Concept-Based Approach
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In an attempt to understand the natural world’s phenomena, young children form their perceptions of different aspects of the macrocosm, which they contrast with new scientific concepts. This process calls for an early intervention that will provide the stimuli and the tools for the development of new concepts, ideas, and cognitive structures. The purpose of the present article is to present an instructional intervention for young children about the science of celestial bodies, with some reference to the pedagogical content knowledge of astronomy. A concept-based, multidisciplinary approach to developing curriculum activities is adopted and the content of activities places particular emphasis on: (1) Spatial learning and spatial thinking, which are considered as central and fundamental to astronomy education, and (2) the alternation between the Earth-based and space-based perspectives of the shape, position, and movement of celestial bodies.
KeywordsAstronomy Early childhood education Concept-based curriculum Earth-based perspective Space-based perspective
Research reported in this publication was funded by the Special Account for Research (ELKE) of the University of Crete.
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