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2010 Summer Meeting

2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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GC01:

Engineering Innovative Curricula for Inquiry in an Undergraduate Astronomy Laboratory
  Location: HC 3029
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.3
  Time: 1:00 PM -1:30 PM
  Author: Daniel Lyons, University of Wyoming
262-496-5519, danjlyons@gmail.com
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: The literature argues that students do not develop deep understandings of the structure or nature of the scientific discipline of inquiry unless the underlying ideas are taught explicitly. In response the Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research CAPER Team has developed an introductory astronomy lab curriculum with a backwards faded-scaffolding approach to support student engagement in authentic inquiry experiences. Backwards faded-scaffolding is a strategy where the conventional and rigidly linear "scientific method" is turned on its head and students are first taught how to create conclusions based on evidence, then how experimental design creates evidence, and only at the end introduces students to -- what we believe is the most challenging part of inquiry -- inventing scientifically appropriate questions. To assess the curriculum we are using the Views of Scientific Inquiry (VOSI) survey and the Test of Astronomy Standards (TOAST).
  Footnotes: Sponsored by Timothy F. Slater, Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research CAPER Team, www.CAPERTeam.com
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