Background: This research investigates the impact of a junior secondary astronomy education programme undertaken in four Australian educational jurisdictions. Purpose: Junior secondary students’ perceptions of the science they experience at School are examined both before, during and after their engagement with a science programme targeting astronomy. Programme description: The programme involved using remotely controlled telescopes over the Internet. Sample: Non-randomised opportunity sampling was employed to recruit participants. Schools were drawn from both public (16) and private (14) sectors. Participants were 1427 students comprising 769 Year 7, 439 Year 8 and 219 Year 9. Design and methods: A concurrent nested mixed method approach was used to investigate the impact of the programme on students’ perceptions of science at high school. Data were collected using a pre/post questionnaire coupled with semi-structured interviews with a sample of participants. Results: Students exhibited negative perceptions of science at school prior to the commencement of the programme. Programme implementation covaried with highly significant changes in students’ perceptions of science. Conclusions: The research highlights the importance of the teacher’s role and the way in which school science is implemented as being crucial contributors to the movement of students’ perceptions.
Danaia, L., McKinnon, D. H., & Fitzgerald, M. (2017). Ideal pictures and actual perspectives of junior secondary school science: Comparisons drawn from Australian students in an astronomy education programme. Research in Science and Technological Education, 35(4), 445-460. https://doi.org/10.1080/02635143.2017.1344959