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2015 Abstracts

Children’s Misconceptions about Space and What Needs to be Done About It

Raschelle Davis, Dixie State University


The general populace in America has many misconceptions concerning space; this is due to lack of explicit, clear education. As children grow and observe the world around them they can create misconceptions about how things work. Research shows that this is particularly true when children are learning about space (Brunsell and Marcks, 2007). Many of these misconceptions can be corrected or avoided if the teacher has specific knowledge of the science content and how to teach it (Bulunuz and Jarrett, 2009). As a mother of a young boy I have been asked many questions about space and how it all works. I was never sure how I should answer those questions, since I did not fully understand how it worked myself. This past year I became involved in a NASA astronomy project in my teacher education program that teaches space science to students using a hands-on approach. During my first astronomy event I could not help but be amazed with the questions and the confusion that some of the students had about space while looking through the telescopes. This gave me the desire to learn more about space and teaching children about space. This research project explores children’s misconceptions about space, the problems with how children are currently being taught about space, and how students could more effectively be taught about space in order to reach clear understanding.