Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC-Chile) and Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación (UMCE-Chile)
All Sessions by Lara Rodrigues
Day 3 - Fri 12th May
Astronomy School Education in Chile: Perspectives and connections from the National Curriculum, Teachers’ Content Knowledge, and Professional Development Programs
13:30 - 13:45
Co-authors: Maximiliano Montenegro (Universidad de La Serena, ULS-Chile), Alejandra Meneses (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, PUC-Chile), Stephen Pompea (NOIRLab, Leiden University), Cristián Cortés (Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación, UMCE-Chile)
Astronomy has great potential to attract children to science and improve their scientific literacy. However, in Chile, home to the world’s largest telescopes, astronomy education is still under development and has little research. This talk presents a characterization of the Chilean astronomy school education by considering perspectives and connections from the curriculum, teachers’ content knowledge, and professional development (PD) programs. First, it characterizes the opportunities to learn astronomy within the science curriculum from grades 1 to 12, showing that it contains a small percentage of astronomical content, but there are opportunities to address more topics through interdisciplinary work. Second, it maps the astronomy content knowledge of 171 in-service primary and secondary education teachers, showing a low level of astronomical knowledge within the sample, especially in day-to-day topics, which are mandatory in the curriculum. Third, it characterizes 16 astronomy teacher PD programs according to effectiveness criteria, finding that most succeed in aligning with curricular topics and offering hands-on activities, but few evaluated knowledge and effectiveness or followed up with the teachers. These results can contribute to this emerging research field with a systemic view of astronomy school education and help astronomy institutions in Chile and beyond offer more effective and impactful educational programs.