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A new approach to using photographs and classroom response systems in middle school astronomy classes

Hyun Ju Lee, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This study reports middle school astronomy classes that implemented photographs and classroom response systems (CRSs) in a discussion-oriented pedagogy with a curriculum unit for the topics of day-night and cause of seasons. In the new pedagogy, a teacher presented conceptual questions with photographs, her 6th grade students responded using the CRSs, and the teacher facilitated classroom discussion based on the student responses. I collected various data: classroom observation with field-note taking and videotaping, student pre- and post-conception tests, student attitude survey and classroom short surveys, and teacher interviews. Classroom video recordings and teacher interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed with the grounded theory approach. This approach was used to analyze the open responses of the student attitude survey as well. Pre- and post- conception tests consisted of open-ended questions and they were scored based upon rubrics. Numerical data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and simple t-tests. In this study, I answered three research questions: (1) student-teacher discourses and interaction patterns while learning and teaching with the photographs and CRSs in the new pedagogy; (2) 6th grade students' misconceptions about the concepts of day-night and cause of seasons, and their knowledge gains after they had the intervention; and (3) the students' and the teacher's attitude toward the new curriculum and the new pedagogy. Finally, I discuss the student-teacher interaction model and three important teacher-questionings in this pedagogy; levels of misconceptions; and the pedagogical roles of the photographs and CRSs.^

Subject Area

Middle school education|Science education

Recommended Citation

Lee, Hyun Ju, "A new approach to using photographs and classroom response systems in middle school astronomy classes" (2012). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3518254.