This study explored over 200 journals and a content-focussed research repository to investigate the occurrence of research on the Big Questions in the field of astronomy education research (AER), focussing on Cosmology and Religion. Using both qualitative and quantitative techniques, 151 articles were selected and analysed. Our results reveal that AER in the context of cosmology has increased vastly over the past few decades. Despite this, there is still a lack of research exploring the various constructs especially focussing on teacher education, curriculum, misconceptions, and the common ground between cosmology and religion. Our textual analysis of the articles revealed 16 themes, which could be encompassed into two overarching themes of “Science” and the “Universe”. We used a 13-criteria scoring rubric to analyse the constructs found in the articles. Using our scoring rubric, the top four criteria were Cosmology “Big Questions” (~ 29%), Cosmology Content (~ 22%), the Cosmology Science-Religion Debate (~ 19%), and Cosmology Attitudes (~ 18%). These results hint at a fertile landscape for research into Cosmology Education, and the Cosmology-Religion interface given the ground-breaking advances in modern Cosmology.
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It should be noted that estimating the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy is not a trivial matter, and although numbers of 200 billion to 400 billion stars are cited, there is still much uncertainty in pinning down the “exact” number.
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Appendix. List of items
Appendix. List of items
We present a list of items that were used in this analysis sorted in alphabetical and chronological order. The table includes the initial categorisation that was used to sort the articles; this was refined through an iterative process and an example criteria column—Cosmology Content. Full citations are denoted by an (*) in the references.
|Citation||Preliminary categorisation||Cosmology Content (criteria 1)|
|Aretz et al. (2017)||Cosmology||3|
|Barnes et al. (2017)||Science/Religion||1|
|Blown and Bryce (2017)||Miscellaneous||1|
|Falade and Bauer (2017)||Science/Religion||1|
|Romero-Maltrana et al. (2017)||Nature of Science||1|
|Aretz et al. (2016)||Cosmology||3|
|Baptista et al. (2016)||Science/Religion||1|
|Billingsley et al. (2016)||Science/Religion||1|
|Garcia C da et al. (2016)||Miscellaneous||1|
|Konnemann et al. (2016)||Evolution||1|
|Shane et al. (2016)||Science/Religion||1|
|Arthury and Peduzzi (2015)||Nature of Science||3|
|Bagdonas and Silva (2015)||Science/Religion||3|
|Belin and Kisida (2015)||Evolution||1|
|Gingrich et al. (2015)||Miscellaneous||1|
|Novotny and Svobodova (2015)||Cosmology||2|
|Billingsley et al. (2013)||Science/Religion||3|
|Coble et al. (2013a, b)||Cosmology||3|
|Coble et al. (2013a, b)||Cosmology||3|
|Feinberg and Layton (2013)||Science/Religion||1|
|Hansson and Redfors (2013)||Astrobiology||2|
|McLin et al. (2013)||Cosmology||3|
|Trouille et al. (2013)||Cosmology||3|
|Coble et al. (2012)||Cosmology||3|
|Henrique Azevedo Sobreira (2012)||Miscellaneous||1|
|Impey et al. (2012)||Science/Religion||2|
|LoPresto and Hubble-Zdanowski (2012)||Miscellaneous||1|
|Rizk et al. (2012)||Miscellaneous||1|
|Wallace and Prather (2012)||Cosmology||3|
|Wallace et al. (2012b)||Cosmology||3|
|Wallace et al. (2012c)||Cosmology||3|
|Wallace et al. (2012a)||Cosmology||3|
|Antiche Garzon (2011)||Miscellaneous||2|
|Sugarman et al. (2011)||Astrology||1|
|Taber et al. (2011)||Science/Religion||2|
|Urama and Holbrook (2011)||Miscellaneous||1|
|Wallace et al. (2011a)||Cosmology||3|
|Wallace et al. (2011b)||Cosmology||3|
|Apostolou and Koulaidis (2010)||Epistemology||1|
|Lelliott and Rollnick (2010)||Miscellaneous||1|
|Yusofi and Mohsenzadeh (2010)||Cosmology||3|
|Irzik and Nola (2009)||Big Questions||1|
|Stavinschi (2009)||Big Questions||2|
|Mijic et al. (2008)||Philosophy||1|
|Roth (2008)||Nature of Science||1|
|Bryce and Blown (2007)||Miscellaneous||1|
|Garland and Ratay (2007)||Miscellaneous||2|
|Hansson and Redfors (2007a)||Science/Religion||2|
|Hansson and Redfors (2007b)||Big Questions||2|
|Blown and Bryce (2006)||Cosmology||2|
|Bryce and Blown (2006)||Cosmology||2|
|Hansson and Redfors (2006)||Cosmology||3|
|Lidar et al. (2006)||Epistemology||1|
|Carrascosa et al. (2005)||Science/Religion||1|
|Liu (2005)||Big Questions||1|
|Bunge (2003)||Big Questions||2|
|Lemmer et al. (2003)||Big Questions||1|
|Panagiotaki (2003)||Big Questions||1|
|Brickhouse et al. (2002)||Science/Religion||2|
|Offerdahl et al. (2002)||Astrobiology||1|
|Prather et al. (2002)||Cosmology||3|
|Shipman et al. (2002)||Science/Religion||2|
|Gvirtz et al. (2001)||Science/Religion||1|
|National Research Council (2001)||Miscellaneous||1|
|Brickhouse et al. (2000)||Science/Religion||2|
|Laroche (2000)||Big Questions||1|
|Loving and Foster (2000)||Science/Religion||1|
|Fysh and Lucas (1998)||Science/Religion||2|
|Cobern (1996)||Big Questions||2|
|Hollow et al. (1994)||Cosmology||3|
|Mant and Summers (1993)||Big Questions||2|
|Sadler (1992)||Big Questions||1|
|Jegede and Okebukola (1991)||Science/Culture||1|
|Brickhouse (1990)||Nature of Science||2|
|Lightman and Miller (1989)||Cosmology||2|
|Vosniadou and Brewer (1987)||Epistemology||2|
|Serio et al. (1985)||Cosmology||3|
|Anderson and Kilbourn (1983)||Science/Religion||1|
|Nussbaum and Sharoni-Dagan (1983)||Big Questions||1|
|Sneider and Pulos (1983)||Big Questions||1|
|Nussbaum (1979)||Big Questions||1|
|Nussbaum and Novak (1976)||Big Questions||1|
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Salimpour, S., Fitzgerald, M.T. The Cosmic Interaction. Sci & Educ (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11191-021-00250-x