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  • 1.
    Airey, John
    et al.
    Uppsala Universitet.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA).
    A semiotic analysis of the disciplinary affordances of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram in astronomy2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One of the central characteristics of disciplines is that they create their own particular ways of knowing the world. This process is facilitated by the specialization and refinement of disciplinary-specific semiotic resources over time. Nowhere is this truer than in the sciences, where it is the norm that disciplinary-specific representations have been introduced and then refined by a number of different actors. As a consequence, many of the semiotic resources used in the sciences today still retain some traces of their historical roots.

    In this paper we analyse one such disciplinary-specific semiotic resource from the field of Astronomy—the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. We audit the potential of this semiotic resource to provide access to disciplinary knowledge—what Fredlund et al (2012) have termed its disciplinary affordances. Our analysis includes consideration of the use of scales, labels, symbols, sizes and colour. We show how, for historical reasons, the use of these aspects in the resource may differ from what might be expected by a newcomer to the discipline.

    We suggest that some of the issues we highlight in our analysis may, in fact, be contributors to alternative conceptions and therefore propose that lecturers pay particular attention to the disambiguation of these features for their students.

  • 2.
    Airey, John
    et al.
    Stockholm Universitet.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, Faculty of Education, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, Faculty of Education, Avdelningen för matematik- och naturvetenskapernas didaktik. Nationellt resurscentrum för fysik, Lunds universitet.
    Unpacking the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram: a social semiotic analysis of the disciplinary and pedagogical affordances of a central resource in astronomy2019In: Designs for Learning, ISSN 1654-7608, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 99-107Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we are interested in the relationship between disciplinary knowledge and its representation. We carry out a social semiotic analysis of a central tool used in astronomy—the Hertzsprung-Russell (H-R) diagram—in order to highlight its disciplinary and pedagogical affordances. By analysing the relationship between disciplinary knowledge and its representation in this way we claim that it becomes possible to identify potential barriers to student learning—instances where semiotic resources with high disciplinary affordance have low pedagogical affordance for newcomers to the discipline. The astronomy resource that we have chosen to analyse has played a pivotal role in our understanding of stellar evolution and as such it features prominently on all undergraduate astronomy programs. However, like most disciplinary-specific semiotic resources, today’s H-R diagram is the culmination of many years of work by numerous disciplinary experts. Over time, the H-R diagram has been revised and reworked by a number of different actors in order to reconcile it with developing observational and theoretical advances. As a consequence, the H-R diagram that we know today combines many layers of astronomical knowledge, whilst still retaining some rather quirky traces of its historical roots. In this paper we adopt a social semiotic lens to analyse these ‘layers of knowledge’ and ‘historical anomalies’ showing how they have resulted in a number of counterintuitive aspects within the diagram that have successively lowered its pedagogical affordance. We claim that the counterintuitive aspects we identify in our analysis give rise to potential barriers to student disciplinary learning. Using our analysis as a case study, we generalise our findings suggesting four types of barrier to understanding that are potentially at work when meeting disciplinary-specific semiotic resources for the first time. We finish the paper by making some general suggestions about the wider use of our analysis method and ways of dealing with any barriers to learning identified. In the specific case of the H-R diagram, we suggest that lecturers should explicitly tease out its disciplinary affordances by the use of ‘unpacked’ resources that have a higher pedagogical affordance. 

  • 3.
    Airey, John
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA).
    What do you see here?: using an analysis of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram in astronomy to create a survey of disciplinary discernment2014In: Book of abstracts: The First Conference of the International Association for Cognitive Semiotics(IACS-2014), September 25-27, 2014 Lund University, 2014, p. 52-53Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Becoming part of a discipline involves learning to interpret and use a range of disciplinary-specific semiotic resources (Airey, 2009). These resources have been developed and assigned particular specialist meanings over time. Nowhere is this truer than in the sciences, where it is the norm that disciplinary-specific representations have been introduced and then refined by a number of different actors in order to reconcile them with subsequent empirical and theoretical advances. As a consequence, many of the semiotic resources used in the sciences today still retain some (potentially confusing) traces of their historical roots. However, it has been repeatedly shown that university lecturers underestimate the challenges such disciplinary specific semiotic resources may present to undergraduates (Northedge, 2002; Tobias, 1986).

    In this paper we analyse one such disciplinary-specific semiotic resource from the field of Astronomy—the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. First, we audit the potential of this semiotic resource to provide access to disciplinary knowledge—what Fredlund et al (2012) have termed its disciplinary affordances. Our analysis includes consideration of the use of scales, labels, symbols, sizes and colour. We show how, for historical reasons, the use of these aspects in the resource may differ from what might be expected by a newcomer to the discipline. Using the results of our analysis we then created an online questionnaire to probe what is discerned (Eriksson, Linder, Airey, & Redfors, in press) with respect to each of these aspects by astronomers and physicists ranging from first year undergraduates to university professors.

    Our findings suggest that some of the issues we highlight in our analysis may, in fact, be contributors to the alternative conceptions of undergraduate students and we therefore propose that lecturers pay particular attention to the disambiguation of these features for their students.

  • 4.
    Airey, John
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA).
    Fredlund, Tobias
    Uppsala universitet.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala universitet.
    On the disciplinary affordances of semiotic resources2014In: Book of abstracts: The First Conference of the International Association for Cognitive Semiotics(IACS-2014), September 25-27, 2014 Lund University, 2014, p. 54-55Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the late 70’s Gibson (1979) introduced the concept of affordance. Initially framed around the needs of an organism in its environment, over the years the term has been appropriated and debated at length by a number of researchers in various fields. Most famous, perhaps is the disagreement between Gibson and Norman (1988) about whether affordances are inherent properties of objects or are only present when they are perceived by an organism. More recently, affordance has been drawn on in the educational arena, particularly with respect to multimodality (see Linder (2013) for a recent example). Here, Kress et al. (2001) have claimed that different modes have different specialized affordances. Then, building on this idea, Airey and Linder (2009) suggested that there is a critical constellation of modes that students need to achieve fluency in before they can experience a concept in an appropriate disciplinary manner. Later, Airey (2009) nuanced this claim, shifting the focus from the modes themselves to a critical constellation of semiotic resources, thus acknowledging that different semiotic resources within a mode often have different affordances (e.g. two or more diagrams may form the critical constellation).

    In this theoretical paper the concept of disciplinary affordance (Fredlund et al., 2012) is suggested as a useful analytical tool for use in education. The concept makes a radical break with the views of both Gibson and Norman in that rather than focusing on the discernment of one individual, it refers to the disciplinary community as a whole. Put simply, the disciplinary affordances of a given semiotic resource are determined by those functions that the resource is expected to fulfil by the disciplinary community. Disciplinary affordances have thus been negotiated and developed within the discipline over time. As such, the question of whether these affordances are inherent or discerned becomes moot. Rather, from an educational perspective the issue is whether the meaning that a semiotic resource affords to an individual matches the disciplinary affordance assigned by the community. The power of the term for educational work is that learning can now be framed as coming to discern the disciplinary affordances of semiotic resources.

    In this paper we will briefly discuss the history of the term affordance, define the term disciplinary affordance and illustrate its usefulness in a number of educational settings.

  • 5.
    Airey, John
    et al.
    Uppsala Universitet.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA).
    Fredlund, Tobias
    Uppsala universitet.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala universitet.
    The concept of disciplinary affordance2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Since its introduction by Gibson (1979) the concept of affordance has been discussed at length by a number of researchers. Most famous, perhaps is the disagreement between Gibson and Norman (1988) about whether affordances are inherent properties of objects or are only present when perceived by an organism. More recently, affordance has been drawn on in the educational arena, particularly with respect to multimodality (see Linder (2013) for a recent example). Here, Kress et al (2001) claim that different modes have different specialized affordances.

     

    In this theoretical paper the concept of disciplinary affordance (Fredlund et al., 2012) is suggested as a useful analytical educational tool. The concept makes a radical break with the views of both Gibson and Norman in that rather than focusing on the perception of an individual, it refers to the disciplinary community as a whole. Put simply, the disciplinary affordances of a given semiotic resource are determined by the functions that it is expected to fulfil for the discipline. As such, the question of whether these affordances are inherent or perceived becomes moot. Rather, the issue is whether what a semiotic resource affords to an individual matches the disciplinary affordance. The power of the term is that learning can now be framed as coming to perceive the disciplinary affordances of semiotic resources.

     

    In this paper we will briefly discuss the history of the term affordance, define the term disciplinary affordance and illustrate its usefulness in a number of educational settings

  • 6.
    Eriksson, Moa
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Fysiska institutionen, Lunds universitet.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Multimodal situated configurations in a physics interactive learning environment dealing with circular motion2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this presentation is to contribute to the theorizing of disciplinary learning from a social semiotic perspective. The particular exploratory focus being reported on being the physics of circular motion in an introductory, university level interactive classroom. Our starting point for this work is that all disciplinary learninghas critical features that need to be discerned in a meaningful, reflective way (Fredlund et al. 2015a; Eriksson 2014). A circular-motion learning situation is used to explore how such reflective discernment(Eriksson et al. 2014) is brought about in response to the semiotic landscape(Jewitt 2008) of the learning experience as a function of both experienced variation (Marton & Booth, 1997; Marton, 2015) and constituted translation(Bezemer & Kress 2008; Kress 2010). Against this backdrop, analysis of preliminary data that consists of audio and video recordings of students engaging with the object of learning in a classroom interactive environment vis-à-vis the forms of representation that make up the teaching and learning environment will be presented. This data analysis characterizes the arising multimodalsituated configurations(Jewitt 2008), which will be discussed in terms of the theorizing presented byFredlund et al. (2015b) for enhancing the possibilities for learning physics.

     

    Bezemer, J., & Kress, G. (2008). Writing in multimodal texts: a social semiotic account of designs for learning. Written Communication, 25(2), 166-195.

    Eriksson, U., Linder, C., Airey, J. & Redfors, A. (2014). Introducing the anatomy of disciplinary discernment: An example from astronomy. European Journal of Science and Mathermatics Education, 2(3), 167-182.

    Eriksson, U., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Redfors, A. (2014). Who needs 3D when the Universe is flat? Science Education, 98(3), 412-442.

    Fredlund, T., Linder, C. & Airey, J. (2015a). A social semiotic approach to identifying critical aspects. International Journal for Lesson & Learning Studies,4(3), 302-316.

    Fredlund, T., Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2015b). Enhancing the possibilities for learning: Variation of disciplinary-relevant aspects in physics representations. European Journal of Physics. 36 (5), 1-11.

    Jewitt, C. (2008). Multimodality and Literacy in School Classrooms. Review of Research in Education32; 241, DOI: 10.3102/0091732X07310586

    Kress, G. (2010).Multimodality. A Social Semiotic Approach to Contemporary Communication. London: Routledge.

    Marton, F. (2015), Necessary Conditions of Learning, Routledge, New York, NY.

    Marton, F., & Booth, S. (1997). Learning and Awareness. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

  • 7.
    Eriksson, Moa
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Fysiska institutionen, Lunds universitet.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Studenters användning av semiotiska resurser: Hur studenter skapar mening kring cirkelrörelse2018Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Eriksson, Moa
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Fysiska institutionen, Lunds universitet.
    Students' understanding of algebraic signs: An underestimated learning challenge?2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    When starting to learn about vector quantities in introductory physics, it is important that students accurately understand the intended meaning of plus and minus algebraic signs in order to appropriately solve physics problems. We present a case study of 82 introductory-level physics students from Sweden and South Africa and show that the lack of understanding of algebraic signs can result in learning challenges even in the introductory topic of one dimensional kinematics. Results of this study will be described and implications for teaching will be discussed.

  • 9.
    Eriksson, Moa
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Fysiska institutionen, Lunds universitet.
    Towards understanding learning challenges involving sign convention in introductory level kinematics2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Coming to appropriately appreciate the meaning of algebraic signs is an important aspect in introductory kinematics. However, in this educational context, the “disciplinary affordances” of algebraic signs across vector and scalar representations are extremely difficult to discern. Our study explores the “relevance structure” that various one-dimensional kinematics problems evoke for introductory level university physics students across two very different educational systems: Sweden (n=60) and South Africa (n=24). The outcomes of an existing PER study are used to provide the analytic set of categories of relevance structure and a contemporary PER-developed social semiotics perspective is used to discuss implications for teaching in the given educational context.

  • 10.
    Eriksson, Moa
    et al.
    Nationellt Resurscentrum för Fysik.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, Faculty of Education, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, Faculty of Education, Avdelningen för matematik- och naturvetenskapernas didaktik. Nationellt resurscentrum för fysik, Lunds universitet.
    Towards understanding learning challenges involving sign conventions in introductory level kinematics2018In: Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings 2018 / [ed] A. Traxler, Y. Cao & S. Wolf, Washington, DC: the Physics Education Research Topical Group (PERTG) and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) , 2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Coming to appropriately appreciate the meaning of algebraic signs is an important aspect in introductory

    kinematics. However, in this educational context, the “disciplinary relevant aspects” of algebraic signs across

    vector and scalar representations are extremely difficult to discern. Our study explores the “relevance

    structure” that one-dimensional kinematics problems evoked for introductory level university physics

    students across two very different educational systems which have, in PER terms, progressive teaching

    environments: Sweden (n=60) and South Africa (n=24). The outcomes of two previous PER studies are used

    to provide the analytic basis for formulating categories of relevance structure. Aspects of a contemporary

    PER-developed social semiotics perspective (referred to here in terms of communication practices) are used

    to discuss implications for teaching in the given educational context of introductory kinematics.

  • 11.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap.
    Astronomi på distans: 2011In: Populär Astronomi, ISSN 1650-7177, Vol. 12, no 3, p. 38-40Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Dagens studenter är mycket mer flexibla i sina studier än tidigare. Idag läser många studenter kurser på olika universitet och högskolor samtidigt. Detta är möjligt genom att många kurser ges på distans via internet. I denna artikel kommer jag att berätta lite om de erfarenheter som jag har efter att ha undervisat ca 10 år på distans.

  • 12.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, Faculty of Education, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, Faculty of Education, Avdelningen för matematik- och naturvetenskapernas didaktik. Nationellt resurscentrum för fysik, Lunds universitet.
    Disciplinary discernment: Reading the sky in astronomy education2019In: Physical Review Special Topics : Physics Education Research, ISSN 1554-9178, E-ISSN 1554-9178, Vol. 15, no 1, p. Disciplinary discernment: Reading the sky in astronomy education-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This theoretical paper introduces a new way to view and characterize learning astronomy. It describes a framework, based on results from empirical data, analyzed through standard qualitative research method- ology, in which a theoretical model for a vital competency of learning astronomy is proposed: reading the sky, a broad description under with various skills and competencies are included. This model takes into account not only disciplinary knowledge but also disciplinary discernment and extrapolating three dimensionality. Together, these constitute the foundation for the competency referred to as reading the sky. In this paper, these competencies are described and discussed and merged to form a new framework vital for learning astronomy to better match the challenges students face when entering the discipline of astronomy.

  • 13.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, Faculty of Education, Avdelningen för matematik- och naturvetenskapernas didaktik. Nationellt resurscentrum för fysik, Lunds universitet.
    Disciplinärt urskiljande av representationer i matematik: vad ser studenterna och vad ser de inte?2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Att lära sig matematik innebär att lära sig "läsa" och "skriva" alla de semiotiska resurser som används för att kommunicera ämnet. Med erfarenheter från andra discipliner, så som astronomi och fysik, vet man att det är svårt för studenter att urskilja disciplinära affordanser av semiotiska resurser och därmed lära sig ämnet och bli en del av disciplinen. Preliminära resultat visar på att detta också gäller för urskiljandet av matematiska semiotiska resurser av olika typ. Den teoretiska utgångspunkten för analys av dessa resurser är en generell hierarki som beskriver olika grader av disciplinärt urskiljande: "The anatomy of disciplinary discernment" (Eriksson et al., 2014). Vi kommer att visa och diskutera ett antal exempel hämtade från funktioner och integraler, där disciplinära affordanser identifieras, både synliga och implicita ("appresented"), av olika komplexitetsgrad och dimensionalitet. Med dessa exempel som utgångspunkt diskuteras möjliga strategier för undervisning och lärande.

  • 14.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap.
    En astronomisk reflektion över bin och honungsproduktion.2006In: Bitidningen, ISSN 0006-3886Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 15.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Nationellt resurscentrum för fysik, Lunds universitet.
    Från Stjärnfläckar till Stjärnobservationer: bland galaxer, stjärnor, planeter och tankar kring dessa2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Att lära sig astronomi, eller naturvetenskap över lag, involverar så mycket och kan liknas vid att lära sig ett nytt språk. Eleven måste lära sig detta språk och det innefattar, förutom skrivet och talat fackspråk, en mängd mer eller mindre begripliga sk representationerna, aktiviteter och verktyg. Det är därför en grannlaga uppgift att lära sig naturvetenskap och eleverna behöver hjälp med att lära sig naturvetenskapens språk. Det sker i allmänhet samtidigt som de lär sig ämnet, men jag kommer att prata om att det krävs träning av vissa speciella färdigheter för att underlätta denna process. Detta involverar disciplinärt urskiljande samt multidimensionellt tänkande. Jag kommer att beskriva ett teoretiskt ramverk, med praktiska exempel från astronomins värld, på hur detta kan ske.

  • 16.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Nationellt resurscentrum för fysik, Lunds universitet.
    “Reading” representations: what does this have to do with teaching and learning physics?2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Learning physics can be compared to learning a new language in several respects. This includes learning to “read and write” the representations that carry the meaning of the language. In the case of physics these representations include text, gestures, mathematics, graphs, images, simulations and animations. For those who are fluent in the language, these representations are full of meaning but for the novice learning to discern the relevant disciplinary aspects of these representations (disciplinary discernment) can be a struggle. Research has shown that often teachers assume that students “see” the same things in a representation that they do. However, this is usually not true. Learning to discern disciplinary aspects of representations is something that students need help with (scaffolding). One important aspect of learning representational fluency in physics is that of spatial thinking, in particular learning to extrapolate three-dimensionality from one- and two-dimensional representations.

    In this talk I will present a theoretical framework describing the process of teaching and learning representational disciplinary fluency. I will also provide some examples to illustrate the framework, from the perspectives of the instructor and the student.

  • 17.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Nationellt resurscentrum för fysik, Lunds universitet.
    Reading the Sky And The Spiral of Teaching and Learning in AstronomyManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This theoretical paper introduces a new way to view and characterize teaching and learning astronomy. It describes a framework, based on results from empirical data, analyzed through standard qualitative research methodology, in which a theoretical model for vital competencies of learning astronomy is proposed: Reading the Sky . This model takes into account not only disciplinary knowledge  but also disciplinary discernment  and extrapolating three-dimensionality . Together, these constitute the foundation for the competency referred to as Reading the Sky . In this paper, I describe these concepts and how I see them being connected and intertwined to form a new competency model for learning astronomy and how this can be used to inform astronomy education to better match the challenges students face when entering the discipline of astronomy: The Spiral of Teaching and Learning . Two examples are presented to highlight how this model can be used in teaching situations.

  • 18.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Nationellt resurscentrum för fysik, Lunds universitet.
    Reading the Sky and The Spiral of Teaching and Learning in Astronomy2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Teaching and learning astronomy is known to be both exciting and challenging. To learn astronomy demands not only disciplinary knowledge, but also the ability to discern meaning from disciplinary specific representations (disciplinary discernment). This includes the ability to think spatially, in particular, extrapolating three-dimensionality from a one- or two-dimensional input i.e. to be able to visualize in one’s mind how a three-dimensional astronomical object may look from a one- or two-dimensional input such as from a visual image or a mathematical representation. In this talk I demonstrate that these abilities are deeply intertwined, and that to learn astronomy at any level demands becoming fluent in all three aspects (disciplinary knowledge, disciplinary discernment and spatial thinking). A framework is presented for how these competencies can be described, and combined, as a new and innovative way to frame teaching and learning in astronomy. It is argued that using this framework “Reading the Sky” optimizes the learning outcomes for students. The talk also suggests strategies for how to implement this approach for improving astronomy teaching and learning overall.

  • 19.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap.
    Reading the sky and the spiral of teaching and learning in astronomy2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Teaching and learning astronomy is known to be both exciting and challenging. To learn astronomy demands not only disciplinary knowledge, but also ability to discern affordances from disciplinary specific representations used within the discourse, which we call disciplinary discernment, and ability to think spatially, which we refer to as extrapolating three-dimensionality from a two dimensional input. Disciplinary knowledge involves all the knowledge that constitutes the discipline, disciplinary discernment involves discernment of the affordances of disciplinaryspecific representations, and extrapolating three-dimensionality involves the ability to visualize in ones mind how a three-dimensional astronomical object may look from a two-dimensional input (image or simulation). In this paper we argue that these abilities are intertwined and to learn astronomy at any level demands becoming fluent in all three. A framework is presented for how these abilities can be described and combined as a new and innovative way to frame teaching and learning in astronomy for optimizing the learning outcome of students - what we refer to as developing the ability to Read the Sky. We conclude that this is a vital competency needed for learning astronomy and suggest strategies for how to implement this to improve astronomy education.

  • 20.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA).
    Reading the sky: from starspots to spotting stars2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis encompasses two research fields in astronomy: astrometry and astronomy education and they are discussed in two parts. These parts represent two sides of a coin; astrometry, which is about constructing 3D representations of the Universe, and AER, where for this thesis, the goal is to investigate university students’ and lecturers’ disciplinary discernment vis-à-vis the structure of the Universe and extrapolating three-dimensionality.

    Part I presents an investigation of stellar surface structures influence on ultra-high-precision astrometry. The expected effects in different regions of the HR-diagram were quantified. I also investigated the astrometric effect of exoplanets, since astrometric detection will become possible with projects such as Gaia. Stellar surface structures produce small brightness variations, influencing integrated properties such as the total flux, radial velocity and photocenter position. These properties were modelled and statistical relations between the variations of the different properties were derived. From the models it is clear that for most stellar types the astrometric jitter due to stellar surface structures is expected to be of order 10 μAU or greater. This is more than the astrometric displacement typically caused by an Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone, which is about 1–4 μAU, making astrometric detection difficult.

    Part II presents an investigation of disciplinary discernment at the university level. Astronomy education is a particularly challenging experience for students because discernment of the ‘real’ Universe is problematic, making interpretation of the many disciplinary-specific representations used an important educational issue. The ability to ‘fluently’ discern the disciplinary affordances of these representations becomes crucial for the effective learning of astronomy. To understand the Universe I conclude that specific experiences are called. Simulations could offer these experiences, where parallax motion is a crucial component. In a qualitative study, I have analysed students’ and lecturers’ discernment while watching a simulation video, and found hierarchies that characterize the discernment in terms of three-dimensionality extrapolation and an Anatomy of Disciplinary Discernment. I combined these to define a new construct: Reading the Sky. I conclude that this is a vital competency needed for learning astronomy and suggest strategies for how to implement this in astronomy education.

  • 21.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. Kristianstad University.
    Reading the Sky: From Starspots to Spotting Stars2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis encompasses two research fields in astronomy: astrometry and astronomy education and they are discussed in two parts. These parts represent two sides of a coin; astrometry, which is about constructing 3D representations of the Universe, and AER, where for this thesis, the goal is to investigate university students’ and lecturers’ disciplinary discernment vis-à-vis the structure of the Universe and extrapolating three-dimensionality.

    Part I presents an investigation of stellar surface structures influence on ultra-high-precision astrometry. The expected effects in different regions of the HR-diagram were quantified. I also investigated the astrometric effect of exoplanets, since astrometric detection will become possible with projects such as Gaia. Stellar surface structures produce small brightness variations, influencing integrated properties such as the total flux, radial velocity and photocenter position. These properties were modelled and statistical relations between the variations of the different properties were derived. From the models it is clear that for most stellar types the astrometric jitter due to stellar surface structures is expected to be of order 10 μAU or greater. This is more than the astrometric displacement typically caused by an Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone, which is about 1–4 μAU, making astrometric detection difficult.

    Part II presents an investigation of disciplinary discernment at the university level. Astronomy education is a particularly challenging experience for students because discernment of the ‘real’ Universe is problematic, making interpretation of the many disciplinary-specific representations used an important educational issue. The ability to ‘fluently’ discern the disciplinary affordances of these representations becomes crucial for the effective learning of astronomy. To understand the Universe I conclude that specific experiences are called. Simulations could offer these experiences, where parallax motion is a crucial component. In a qualitative study, I have analysed students’ and lecturers’ discernment while watching a simulation video, and found hierarchies that characterize the discernment in terms of three-dimensionality extrapolation and an Anatomy of Disciplinary Discernment. I combined these to define a new construct: Reading the Sky. I conclude that this is a vital competency needed for learning astronomy and suggest strategies for how to implement this in astronomy education.

  • 22.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University.
    Stellar Surface Structures and the Astrometric Serach for Exoplnaets2007Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Measuring stellar parallax, position and proper motion is the task of astrometry. With the development of new and much more accurate equipment, different noise sources are likely to affect the very precise measurements made with future instruments. Some of these sources are: stellar surface structures, circumstellar discs, multiplicity and weak microlensing. Also exoplanets may act as a source of perturbation.

    In this thesis I present an investigation of stellar surface structures as a practical limitation to ultra-high-precision astrometry. The expected effects in different regions of the HR-diagram are quantified. I also investigate the astrometric effect of exoplanets, since their astrometric detection will be possible with future projects such as Gaia and SIM PlanetQuest.

    Stellar surface structures like spots, plages and granulation produce small surface areas of different temperatures, i.e. of different brightness, which will influence integrated properties such as the total flux (zeroth moment of the brightness distribution), radial velocity and photocenter position (first moments of the brightness distribution). Also the third central moment of the brightness distribution, interferometrically observable as closure phase, will vary due to irregularities in the brightness distribution. All these properties have been modelled, using both numerical simulations and analytical methods, and statistical relations between the variations of the different properties have been derived.

    Bright and/or dark surface areas, randomly spread over the stellar surface, will lead to a binomial distribution of the number of visible spots and the dispersion of such a model will be proportional topN, where N is the number of spots or surface structures. The dispersion will also be proportional to the size of each spot, A. The dispersions of the integrated properties are therefore expected to be/ ApN. It is noted that the commonly used spot filling factor, f / AN, is notthe most relevant characteristic of spottiness for these effects.

    Both the simulations and the analytic model lead to a set of statistical relations for the dispersions or variations of the integrated properties. With ,e.g. knowledge of the photometric variation, m, it is possible to statistically estimate the dispersions for the other integrated properties. Especially interesting is the variation of the observed photocenter, i.e. the astrometric jitter. A literature review was therefore made of the observed photometric and radial-velocity variations for various types of stars. This allowed to map the expected levels of astrometric jitter across the HR diagram.

    From the models it is clear that for most stellar types the astrometric jitter due to stellar surface structures is expected to be of order 10 μAU or greater. This is more than the astrometric displacement typically caused by an Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone of a long-lived main-sequence star, which is about 1–4 μAU. Only for stars with extremely low photometric variability (< 0.5 mmag) and low magnetic activity, comparable to that of the Sun, will the astrometric jitter be of order 1 μAU, sufficient to allow astrometric detection of an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone. While stellar surface structure may thus seriously impair the astrometric detection of small exoplanets, it has in general negligible impact on the detection of large (Jupiter-size) planets.

  • 23.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap.
    Teaching and learning in astronomy education – a spiral approach to reading the sky2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Teaching and learning astronomy is known to be both exciting and challenging. However, learning astronomy at university level is a demanding task for many students. The learning pro-cess involves not only disciplinary knowledge, but also the ability to discern affordances from disciplinary specific representations used within the astronomy discourse, which we call discipli-nary discernment (Eriksson, Linder, Airey, & Redfors, 2014a) and ability to think spatially, which we refer to as extrapolating three-dimensionality from a two dimensional input (Eriksson, Linder, Airey, & Redfors, 2014b). Disciplinary knowledge involves all the knowledge that con-stitutes the discipline, disciplinary discernment involves discernment of the affordances of disci-plinary-specific representations, and extrapolating three-dimensionality involves the ability to visualize in ones mind how a three-dimensional astronomical object may look from a two-dimensional input (image or simulation). In this paper we argue that these abilities are inter-twined and to learn astronomy at any level demands becoming fluent in all three abilities. A framework is presented for how these abilities can be described and combined as a new and in-novative way to frame teaching and learning in astronomy at university level for optimizing the learning outcome of students - what we refer to as developing the ability of Reading the Sky (Eriksson, 2014). We conclude that this is a vital competency needed for learning astronomy and suggest strategies for how to implement this to improve astronomy education.

    References

    Eriksson, Urban. (2014). Reading the Sky - From Starspots to Spotting Stars. (Doctor of Philosophy), Uppsala University, Uppsala. Retrieved from http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-234636  

    Eriksson, Urban, Linder, Cedric, Airey, John, & Redfors, Andreas. (2014a). Introducing the Anatomy of Disciplinary Discernment - An example for Astronomy. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 2(3), 167-182. 

    Eriksson, Urban, Linder, Cedric, Airey, John, & Redfors, Andreas. (2014b). Who needs 3D when the Universe is flat? Science Education, 98(3), 31. 

  • 24.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Nationellt resurscentrum för fysik, Lunds universitet.
    The outer universe and the inner: what is the connection?2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This talk concerns astronomy eduction resercher and focus on what visualizations offer for learning astronomy at all levels. I will be presenting reserach results concerning disciplinary discernment and spatial thinking in relation to experiences offered by planetarium presentations.

  • 25.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap.
    The spiral of teaching and learning in astronomy education2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Teaching and learning astronomy is known to be both exciting and challenging. To learn astronomy demands not only disciplinary knowledge, but also ability to discern affordances from disciplinary specific representations used within the discourse, which we call disciplinary dis- cernment (Eriksson, Linder, Airey, & Redfors, 2014a) and ability to think spatially, which we refer to as extrapolating three-dimensionality from a two dimensional input (Eriksson, Linder, Airey, & Redfors, 2014b). Disciplinary knowledge involves all the knowledge that constitutes the discipline, disciplinary discernment involves discernment of the affordances of disciplinary- specific representations, and extrapolating three-dimensionality involves the ability to visualize in ones mind how a three-dimensional astronomical object may look from a two-dimensional input (image or simulation). In this paper we argue that these abilities are intertwined and to learn as- tronomy at any level demands becoming fluent in all three abilities. A framework is presented for how these abilities can be described and combined as a new and innovative way to frame teach- ing and learning in astronomy at university level for optimizing the learning outcome of students - what we refer to as developing the ability of Reading the Sky (Eriksson, 2014). We conclude that this is a vital competency needed for learning astronomy and suggest strategies for how to implement this to improve astronomy education.

  • 26.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap.
    The Spiral of Teaching and Learning in Physics and Astronomy2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When students start to learn physics and astronomy, they immediately are confronted with a multitude of representations packed with disciplinary information. This information is embedded in these representations and the students need to learn to discern the relevant information. This is not straightforward, and requires a lot of teaching and practice before being mastered. It carries many similarities to learning a new language – the language of physics, astronomy, or other sciences. 

    However, it all starts with disciplinary discernment from those representations, something that has been shown to be challenging for students. Often the teacher who knows the representations and their appresented meaning—their disciplinary affordances—assumes that the students discern the same things in those representations as the teacher does. Research has shown that this is not the case and such assumptions leads to educational problems for the students and make learning physics or astronomy unnecessary difficult, or even inaccessible to the students. The students need be given the opportunity to develop their competency in discerning disciplinary-specific relevant aspects from representations; a competency referred to as Reading the Sky in an astronomy context, and described by the Anatomy of Disciplinary Discernment (Eriksson, 2014a; Eriksson et al., 2014b).

    Furthermore, physics and astronomy are subjects aiming to describe the real multidimensional world, hence involve a substantial amount of spatial thinking. The students need to learn to extrapolate three-dimensionality in their minds from two-dimensional representations, which have been shown to be challenging to students. Unfortunately, this competency is often taken for granted and rarely addressed in teaching (Eriksson et al., 2014c).

    In this talk we present a model in which we identify and describe the critical competencies needed to “read” disciplinary-specific representations; it concerns not only disciplinary discernment but also spatial thinking and disciplinary knowledge. These are combined into the Spiral of Teaching and Learning (STL), a new and powerful model for optimizing teaching and learning science (Eriksson, 2014a; Eriksson, 2015). We discuss consequences and possibilities when applying the STL model and give an example of how this model can be used in teaching and learning astronomy.

  • 27.
    Eriksson, Urban
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap.
    Undervisning på distans – framtiden för universitet och högskolor?: ett exempel från astronomiundervisning på Högskolan Kristianstad2016In: Högskolepedagogisk debatt, ISSN 2000-9216, no 1, p. 46-73Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Dagens studenter är mycket mer flexibla i sina studier än tidigare. Idag läser många studenter kurser på olika universitet och högskolor samtidigt. Detta är möjligt genom att många kurser och program ges på distans via internet. I denna artikel diskuteras de möjligheter och begränsningar som jag anser finns med den undervisningsform som allt mer präglar undervisning vid universitet och högskolor, nationellt och internationellt; distansundervisning.

  • 28.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Uppsala University.
    Cedric, Linder
    Uppsala University.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala University.
    Redfors, Andreas
    Kristianstad University.
    Who needs 3D when the Universe is flat?2012In: The 1st World Conference on Physics Education, Istanbul, Turkey, 1-6 July, Istanbul, Turkey: WCPE , 2012, p. 170-171Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Learning astronomy can be difficult for students at all levels due to the highly diverse, conceptual and theoretical thinking used in the discipline. A variety of disciplinary-specific representations are normally employed to help students learn about the Universe. Some of the most common representations are twodimensional (2D) such as diagrams, plots, or images. In astronomy education there is an implicit assumption that students will be able to con- ceptually extrapolate three-dimensional (3D) representations from these 2D images (e.g., of nebulae); however, this is often not the case (Hansen et al. 2004a,b; Molina et al. 2004; Williamson and Abraham 1995; N.R.C. 2006, p. 56). The way in which students interact with different disciplinary represen- tations determines how much and what they will learn; yet, our literature review indicates that not much is known about this interaction. We have therefore chosen to investigate students’ reflective awareness evoked by 3D representations. Reflective awareness relates to the learning affordances that engagement with a collection of representations facilitates. The notion of reflection is drawn from the work of Schön (cf. 1983) in that it is related to our learning experience and involves the noticing of ‘new things’ and the noticing of ‘things’ in new ways as part of dealing with puzzling phenomena. Much of the research into Astronomy Education Research (AER) has been carried out at pre-university levels (Bailey and Slater 2003; Bailey 2011; Bre- tones and Neto 2011; Lelliott and Rollnick 2010), and furthermore very little has been grounded in a disciplinary discourse perspective (Airey and Linder 2009). Our study sets out to address both of these shortcomings. Our research question is: What is the nature of university students’ re- flective awareness when engaging with the representations used to illustrate the structural components and characteristics of the Milky Way Galaxy in a simulation video? Although not common, when 3D is introduced, then this is often done using video simulations. For our study we chose to use a highly regarded video simulation that illustrates some of the fundamental structural components of our Universe in a virtual reality journey through, and out of, our galaxy. In the study, the first 1.5-minutes of the video was set to automatically pause in seven places (these places where optimally determined in a small pre-study), and a web questionnaire was created to elicit the participants’ reflective awareness about the structural components and characteristics of the Milky Way in each clip. A total of 137 participants from physics and astronomy in Europe, North America, South Africa and Australia took part in the study. The written reflective descriptions from the survey were coded and sorted into constructed categories, using a constant comparison approach (cf. Gibbs 2002; Strauss 1998). Many of the participants expressed poor prior awareness of the 3D struc- ture of the universe, as evidenced by their ‘surprise’ in observing 3D features such as the large separation of the stars in Orion or the two nebulae in Orion. Many were also surprised by the extent of the grand scale of the (local) Uni- verse as they realised that the journey covers great distances in only a few seconds. In contrast, those participants who rated themselves as astronomy experts had already developed a 3D awareness of the universe. They used much more complex descriptions and to some extent commented on struc- tures and phenomena omitted from the simulation, such as HI-regions and infrared radiation from HII-regions, although these are invisible to the naked eye. In this talk we report on 3D-related issues, which we will discuss in re- lation to implications for using such a simulation as a resource intended to enhance the possibility of learning. There are two main findings of our study concerning 3D: firstly, one of the clearest differences in reflective awareness to emerge was that there was a gradual increase of awareness of structures and phenomena in relation to the educational level of the astronomy partic- ipants. Interestingly, this is not the case for the physics participants and we will argue that this is due to differences in the disciplinary discourses of physics and astronomy. The second finding is that the use of the simulation video successfully stimulated participants’ awareness of the 3D structure of the Universe as seen in their expressed surprise. We therefore argue that simula- tions can be a powerful and necessary tool in helping develop an awareness of the three-dimensional Universe and that simulations therefore are one of the critical forms of representation that open up the space for learning in astronomy.

  • 29.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. Kristianstad University.
    Cedric, Linder
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Redfors, Andreas
    Kristianstad University.
    Who needs 3D when the Universe is flat?2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Learning astronomy can be difficult for students at all levels due to the highly diverse, conceptual and

    theoretical thinking used in the discipline. A variety of disciplinary-specific representations are normally

    employed to help students learn about the Universe. Some of the most common representations are twodimensional

    (2D) such as diagrams, plots, or images. In astronomy education there is an implicit assumption

    that students will be able to con- ceptually extrapolate three-dimensional (3D) representations from these 2D

    images (e.g., of nebulae); however, this is often not the case (Hansen et al. 2004a,b; Molina et al. 2004;

    Williamson and Abraham 1995; N.R.C. 2006, p. 56).

    The way in which students interact with different disciplinary represen- tations determines how much and

    what they will learn; yet, our literature review indicates that not much is known about this interaction. We

    have therefore chosen to investigate students’ reflective awareness evoked by 3D representations. Reflective

    awareness relates to the learning affordances that engagement with a collection of representations

    facilitates. The notion of reflection is drawn from the work of Schön (cf. 1983) in that it is related to our

    learning experience and involves the noticing of ‘new things’ and the noticing of ‘things’ in new ways as part

    of dealing with puzzling phenomena. Much of the research into Astronomy Education Research (AER) has

    been carried out at pre-university levels (Bailey and Slater 2003; Bailey 2011; Bre- tones and Neto 2011;

    Lelliott and Rollnick 2010), and furthermore very little has been grounded in a disciplinary discourse

    perspective (Airey and Linder 2009). Our study sets out to address both of these shortcomings.

    Our research question is: What is the nature of university students’ re- flective awareness when engaging

    with the representations used to illustrate the structural components and characteristics of the Milky Way

    Galaxy in a simulation video?

    Although not common, when 3D is introduced, then this is often done using video simulations. For our study

    we chose to use a highly regarded video simulation that illustrates some of the fundamental structural

    components of our Universe in a virtual reality journey through, and out of, our galaxy. In the study, the first

    1.5-minutes of the video was set to automatically pause in seven places (these places where optimally

    determined in a small pre-study), and a web questionnaire was created to elicit the participants’ reflective

    awareness about the structural components and characteristics of the Milky Way in each clip. A total of 137

    participants from physics and astronomy in Europe, North America, South Africa and Australia took part in

    the study. The written reflective descriptions from the survey were coded and sorted into constructed

    categories, using a constant comparison approach (cf. Gibbs 2002; Strauss 1998).

    Many of the participants expressed poor prior awareness of the 3D struc- ture of the universe, as evidenced

    by their ‘surprise’ in observing 3D features such as the large separation of the stars in Orion or the two

    nebulae in Orion. Many were also surprised by the extent of the grand scale of the (local) Uni- verse as they

    realised that the journey covers great distances in only a few seconds. In contrast, those participants who

    rated themselves as astronomy experts had already developed a 3D awareness of the universe. They used

    much more complex descriptions and to some extent commented on struc- tures and phenomena omitted

    from the simulation, such as HI-regions and infrared radiation from HII-regions, although these are invisible

    to the naked eye.

    In this talk we report on 3D-related issues, which we will discuss in re- lation to implications for using such a

    simulation as a resource intended to enhance the possibility of learning. There are two main findings of our

    study concerning 3D: firstly, one of the clearest differences in reflective awareness to emerge was that there

    was a gradual increase of awareness of structures and phenomena in relation to the educational level of the

    astronomy partic- ipants. Interestingly, this is not the case for the physics participants and we will argue that

    this is due to differences in the disciplinary discourses of physics and astronomy. The second finding is that

    the use of the simulation video successfully stimulated participants’ awareness of the 3D structure of the

    Universe as seen in their expressed surprise. We therefore argue that simula- tions can be a powerful and

    necessary tool in helping develop an awareness of the three-dimensional Universe and that simulations

    therefore are one of the critical forms of representation that open up the space for learning in astronomy.

    References

    Airey, J. and Linder, C. (2009). A disciplinary discourse perspective on university science learning: Achieving

    fluency in a critical constellation of modes. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(1):27–49.

    Bailey, J. M. (2011). Astronomy education research: Developmental history of the field and summary of the

    literature. National Research Council Board on Science Education’s.

    Bailey, J. M. and Slater, T. F. (2003). A review of astronomy education research. Astronomy Education

    Review (AER), 2(2):20–45.

    Bretones, P. S. and Neto, J. M. (2011). An analysis of papers on astronomy education in proceedings of iau

    meetings from 1988 to 2006. Astronomy Education Review, 10(1):010102.

    Gibbs, G. R. (2002). Qualitative Data Analysis: Explorations with NVivo. Open University Press.

    171

    Hansen, J. A., Barnett, M., MaKinster, J. G., and Keating, T. (2004a). The impact of three-dimensional

    computational modeling on student under- standing of astronomical concepts: a quantitative analysis.

    International Journal of Science Education, 26(11):1365–1378.

    Hansen, J. A., Barnett, M., MaKinster, J. G., and Keating, T. (2004b). The impact of three-dimensional

    computational modeling on student un- derstanding of astronomy concepts: a qualitative analysis.

    International Journal of Science Education, 26(13):1555–1575.

    Lelliott, A. and Rollnick, M. (2010). Big ideas: A review of astronomy education research 1974–2008.

    International Journal of Science Education, 32(13):1771–1799.

    Molina, A., Redondo, M., Bravo, C., and Ortega, M. (2004). Using simula- tion, collaboration, and 3d

    visualization for design learning: A case study in domotics. In Luo, Y., editor, Cooperative Design,

    Visualization, and Engineering, volume 3190 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 164–171. Springer

    Berlin/Heidelberg

  • 30.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA).
    Lindegren, L.
    Lund Observatory, Lund University.
    Limits of ultra-high-precision optical astrometry: stellar surface structures2007In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 476, no 3, p. 1389-1400Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aims. To investigate the astrometric effects of stellar surface structures as a practical limitation to ultra-high-precision astrometry (e.g. in the context of exoplanet searches) and to quantify the expected effects in different regions of the HR-diagram. Methods. Stellar surface structures (spots, plages, granulation, non-radial oscillations) are likely to produce fluctuations in the integrated flux and radial velocity of the star, as well as a variation of the observed photocentre, i.e. astrometric jitter. We use theoretical considerations supported by Monte Carlo simulations (using a starspot model) to derive statistical relations between the corresponding astrometric, photometric, and radial velocity effects. Based on these relations, the more easily observed photometric and radial velocity variations can be used to predict the expected size of the astrometric jitter. Also the third moment of the brightness distribution, interferometrically observable as closure phase, contains information about the astrometric jitter. Results. For most stellar types the astrometric jitter due to stellar surface structures is expected to be of the order of 10 micro-AU or greater. This is more than the astrometric displacement typically caused by an Earth-size exoplanet in the habitable zone, which is about 1-4 micro-AU for long-lived main-sequence stars. Only for stars with extremely low photometric variability (< 0.5 mmag) and low magnetic activity, comparable to that of the Sun, will the astrometric jitter be of the order of 1 micro-AU, sufficient to allow the astrometric detection of an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone. While stellar surface structure may thus seriously impair the astrometric detection of small exoplanets, it has in general a negligible impact on the detection of large (Jupiter-size) planets and on the determination of stellar parallax and proper motion. From the starspot model we also conclude that the commonly used spot filling factor is not the most relevant parameter for quantifying the spottiness in terms of the resulting astrometric, photometric and radial velocity variations.

  • 31.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. Kristianstad University.
    Lindegren, Lennart
    Lund University.
    Limits of ultra-high-precision optical astrometry: stellar surface structures2007In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 476, no 3, p. 1389-1400Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aims. To investigate the astrometric effects of stellar surface structures as a practical limitation to ultra-high-precision astrometry (e.g. in the context of exoplanet searches) and to quantify the expected effects in different regions of the HR-diagram. Methods. Stellar surface structures (spots, plages, granulation, non-radial oscillations) are likely to produce fluctuations in the integrated flux and radial velocity of the star, as well as a variation of the observed photocentre, i.e. astrometric jitter. We use theoretical considerations supported by Monte Carlo simulations (using a starspot model) to derive statistical relations between the corresponding astrometric, photometric, and radial velocity effects. Based on these relations, the more easily observed photometric and radial velocity variations can be used to predict the expected size of the astrometric jitter. Also the third moment of the brightness distribution, interferometrically observable as closure phase, contains information about the astrometric jitter. Results. For most stellar types the astrometric jitter due to stellar surface structures is expected to be of the order of 10 micro-AU or greater. This is more than the astrometric displacement typically caused by an Earth-size exoplanet in the habitable zone, which is about 1-4 micro-AU for long-lived main-sequence stars. Only for stars with extremely low photometric variability (< 0.5 mmag) and low magnetic activity, comparable to that of the Sun, will the astrometric jitter be of the order of 1 micro-AU, sufficient to allow the astrometric detection of an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone. While stellar surface structure may thus seriously impair the astrometric detection of small exoplanets, it has in general a negligible impact on the detection of large (Jupiter-size) planets and on the determination of stellar parallax and proper motion. From the starspot model we also conclude that the commonly used spot filling factor is not the most relevant parameter for quantifying the spottiness in terms of the resulting astrometric, photometric and radial velocity variations.

  • 32.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala University.
    Watching the sky: new realizations, new meanings, and surprizing aspects in university level astronomy2011In: E-Book Proceedings of the ESERA 2011 Conference: Science learning and Citizenship. Part 3: Teaching and learning science / [ed] Catherine Bruguière, Andrée Tiberghien, Pierre Clément, Lyon, France: European Science Education Research Association , 2011, p. 57-63Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Learning astronomy is challenging at all levels due to the highly specialized form of communication used to share knowledge. When taking astronomy courses at different levels at university, learners are exposed to a variety of representations that are intended to help them learn about the structure and complexity of the Universe. However, not much is known about the reflective awareness that these representations evoke. Using a simulation video that provides a vivid virtual journey through our Milky Way galaxy, the nature of this awareness is captured and categorised for an array of learners (benchmark by results obtained for experts). The results illustrate how the number and nature of new things grounded in dimensionality, scale, time and perspective reflective awareness can too easily be taken for granted by both teachers and learners.

  • 33.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Uppsala University ; Kristianstad University.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala University.
    Watching the sky: new realizations, new meanings, and surprizing aspects in university level astronomy2011In: E-Book Proceedings of the ESERA 2011 Conference: Science learning and Citizenship / [ed] Catherine Bruguière, Andrée Tiberghien, Pierre Clément, Lyon: European Science Education Research Association , 2011, p. 57-63Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Learning astronomy is challenging at all levels due to the highly specialized form of communication used to share knowledge. When taking astronomy courses at different levels at university, learners are exposed to a variety of representations that are intended to help them learn about the structure and complexity of the Universe. However, not much is known about the reflective awareness that these representations evoke. Using a simulation video that provides a vivid virtual journey through our Milky Way galaxy, the nature of this awareness is captured and categorised for an array of learners (benchmark by results obtained for experts). The results illustrate how the number and nature of new things grounded in dimensionality, scale, time and perspective reflective awareness can too easily be taken for granted by both teachers and learners.

  • 34.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. Kristianstad University.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Redfors, Andreas
    Kristianstad University.
    Awareness of the three dimensional structure of the Universe2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Learning astronomy can be difficult for students at all levels due to the highly diverse, conceptual and theoretical thinking used in the discipline. A variety of disciplinary-specific representations are normally employed to help students learn about the Universe. Some of the most common representations are two-dimensional (2D) such as diagrams, plots, or images. In astronomy education there is an implicit assumption that students will be able to conceptually extrapolate three-dimensional (3D) representations from these 2D images (e.g., of nebulae); however, this is often not the case (Hansen, Barnett, MaKinster, & Keating, 2004a, 2004b; Molina, Redondo, Bravo, & Ortega, 2004; N.R.C, 2006; Williamson & Abraham, 1995).

    Simulation videos are often called on to dynamically introduce students to the structure and complexity of the Universe. We therefore chose to investigate, drawing on a range of educational experience, the nature of the reflective awareness evoked by being exposed to an array of 3D representations taken from a well-used simulation video in astronomy education. A key concept for this work is the notion of disciplinary affordances. Fredlund, Airey, and Linder (2012, p. 658) define the disciplinary affordances of a given representation as ―the inherent potential of that representation to provide access to disciplinary knowledge‖. Recent reviews indicate that most of the work done in astronomy education has taken place at a pre-university level and that none has focussed on disciplinary affordance vis-à-vis 3D representation (Bailey, 2011; Bailey & Slater, 2003; Bretones & Neto, 2011; Lelliott & Rollnick, 2010). The work reported here addresses both these shortcomings. 

    The simulation video used in our study was originally created by Brent Tully. After a pilot study a section of the video was selected to be cut into 7 clips (about 15s each). These clips formed the framing of a web survey that asked participants to write down their reflective awareness following after viewing of each video clip, for e.g. what comes to mind, things noticed, new realizations, etc. 

    A total of 137 participants from university physics and astronomy settings in Europe (42), North America (76), South Africa (3) and Australia (16) took part in the web survey (79 men and 58 women). The reflective descriptions from the survey were coded and used to construct categories, using a hermeneutic constant comparison approach (cf. Gibbs, 2002; Strauss & Corbin, 1998). 

    A limited number of categories emerged and were grouped under the overarching theme we decided to call Parallax. This was because Parallax captured all the statements reflecting awareness of the structural and positional affordances offered by the 3D-video. The analysis showed qualitative differences between the categories, where 3D refers to the highest level of awareness and Speed, travel or motion refers to the lowest level. There are also sub-categories, for e.g., for Speed, travel or motion there are two main ways of experiencing, either the observers or the observed objects, are described in terms of moving in a relative way. 

    Many of the novice participants expressed poor prior awareness of the 3D structure of the universe and surprise by the extent of the grand scale of the (local) Universe. In contrast, those participants who rated themselves as astronomy experts had already developed a 3D awareness of the universe. They used much more complex descriptions and to some extent commented on structures and phenomena omitted from the simulation, such as HI-regions and infrared radiation from HII-regions, although these are invisible to the naked eye. 

    The results show that these kinds of vividly visual and engaging simulations have the potential to provide new disciplinary knowledge for reflective learners in the field of astronomy. Such learning can be characterized as attaining a better appreciation of the disciplinary affordances of the representations used in the simulation. As a conclusion we will discuss how such engagement could open the way for astronomy students to learn more meaningfully about the structure and complexity of the Universe. 

    References 

    Bailey, J. M. (2011). Astronomy Education Research: Developmental History of the Field and Summary of the Literature

    Bailey, J. M., & Slater, T. F. (2003). A Review of Astronomy Education Research. Astronomy Education Review (AER), 2(2), 45. 198 

    Bretones, P. S., & Neto, J. M. (2011). An Analysis of Papers on Astronomy Education in Proceedings of IAU Meetings from 1988 to 2006. Astronomy Education Review, 10(1), AAS. 

    Fredlund, T., Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2012). Exploring the role of physics representations: an illustrative example from students sharing knowledge about refraction. European Journal of Physics, 33(3). 

    Gibbs, G. R. (2002). Qualitative Data Analysis: Explorations with NVivo: Open University Press. 

    Hansen, J. A., Barnett, M., MaKinster, J. G., & Keating, T. (2004a). The impact of three-dimensional computational modeling on student understanding of astronomical concepts: a quantitative analysis. International Journal of Science Education, 26(11), 1378. 

    Hansen, J. A., Barnett, M., MaKinster, J. G., & Keating, T. (2004b). The impact of three-dimensional computational modeling on student understanding of astronomy concepts: a qualitative analysis. International Journal of Science Education, 26(13), 1575. 

    Lelliott, A., & Rollnick, M. (2010). Big Ideas: A review of astronomy education research 1974--2008. International Journal of Science Education, 32(13), 1799. 

    Molina, A., Redondo, M., Bravo, C., & Ortega, M. (2004) Using Simulation, Collaboration, and 3D Visualization for Design Learning: A Case Study in Domotics. Vol. 3190. Cooperative Design, Visualization, and Engineering (pp. Springer Berlin / Heidelberg-171). 

    N.R.C. (2006). Learning to Think Spatially: GIS as a Support System in the K-12 Curriculum

    Strauss, A. L., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. (2nd ed. ed.). London: Sage. 

    Williamson, V. M., & Abraham, M. R. (1995). The effects of computer animation on the particulate mental models of college chemistry students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 32(5), Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company--534.

  • 35.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA).
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala University.
    Redfors, Andreas
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA).
    Introducing the anatomy of disciplinary discernment: an example from astronomy2014In: European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, ISSN 2301-251X, E-ISSN 2301-251X, Vol. 2, no 3, p. 167-182Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Education is increasingly being framed by a competence mindset; the value of knowledge lies much more in competence performativity and innovation than in simply knowing. Reaching such competency in areas such as astronomy and physics has long been known to be challenging. The movement from everyday conceptions of the world around us to a disciplinary interpretation is fraught with pitfalls and problems. Thus, what underpins the characteristics of the disciplinary trajectory to competence becomes an important educational consideration. In this article we report on a study involving what students and lecturers discern from the same disciplinary semiotic resource. We use this to propose an Anatomy of Disciplinary Discernment (ADD), a hierarchy of what is focused on and how it is interpreted in an appropriate, disciplinary manner, as an overarching fundamental aspect of disciplinary learning. Students and lecturers in astronomy and physics were asked to describe what they could discern from a video simulation of travel through our Galaxy and beyond. In all, 137 people from nine countries participated. The descriptions were analysed using a hermeneutic interpretive study approach. The analysis resulted in the formulation of five qualitatively different categories of discernment; the ADD, reflecting a view of participants’ competence levels. The ADD reveals four increasing levels of disciplinary discernment: Identification, Explanation, Appreciation, and Evaluation. This facilitates the identification of a clear relationship between educational level and the level of disciplinary discernment. The analytical outcomes of the study suggest how teachers of science, after using the ADD to assess the students disciplinary knowledge, may attain new insights into how to create more effective learning environments by explicitly crafting their teaching to support the crossing of boundaries in the ADD model.  

  • 36.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Uppsala University.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala University.
    Redfors, Andreas
    Kristianstad University.
    Tell me what you see: Differences in what is discerned when professors and students view the same disciplinary semiotic resource2014In: The 5th international 360° conference: Encompassing the Multimodality of Knowledge, May 8-10 2014, Aarhus, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Traditionally, astronomy and physics have been viewed as difficult subjects to master. The movement from everyday conceptions of the world around us to a disciplinary interpretation is fraught with pitfalls and problems. What characterises a disciplinary insider’s discernment of phenomena in astronomy and how does it compare to the views of newcomers to the field? In this paper we report on a study into what students and professors discern (cf. Eriksson et al, in press) from the same disciplinary semiotic resource and use this to propose an Anatomy of Disciplinary Discernment (ADD) as an overarching characterization of disciplinary learning.

    Students and professors in astronomy and physics were asked to describe what they could discern from a simulation video of travel through our Galaxy and beyond (Tully, 2012). In all, 137 people from nine countries participated. The descriptions were analysed using a hermeneutic, constant comparison approach (Seebohm, 2004; Strauss, 1987). Analysis culminated in the formulation of five hierarchically arranged, qualitatively different categories of discernment. This ADD modelling of the data consists of one non-disciplinary category and four levels of disciplinary discernment: Identification, Explanation, Appreciation, and Evaluation. Our analysis demonstrates a clear relationship between educational level and the level of disciplinary discernment.

    The analytic outcomes of the study suggest that teachers may create more effective learning environments by explicitly crafting their teaching to support the discernment of various aspects of disciplinary semiotic resources in order to facilitate the crossing of boundaries in the ADD model.

  • 37.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA).
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala University & Linnéuniversitetet.
    Redfors, Andreas
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA).
    Tell me what you see: differences in what is discerned when professors and students view the same disciplinary semiotic resource2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Traditionally, astronomy and physics have been viewed as difficult subjects to master. The movement from everyday conceptions of the world around us to a disciplinary interpretation is fraught with pitfalls and problems. What characterises a disciplinary insider’s discernment of phenomena in astronomy and how does it compare to the views of newcomers to the field? In this paper we report on a study into what students and professors discern (cf. Eriksson et al, in press) from the same disciplinary semiotic resource and use this to propose an Anatomy of Disciplinary Discernment (ADD) as an overarching characterization of disciplinary learning.

    Students and professors in astronomy and physics were asked to describe what they could discern from a simulation video of travel through our Galaxy and beyond (Tully, 2012). In all, 137 people from nine countries participated. The descriptions were analysed using a hermeneutic, constant comparison approach (Seebohm, 2004; Strauss, 1987). Analysis culminated in the formulation of five hierarchically arranged, qualitatively different categories of discernment. This ADD modelling of the data consists of one non-disciplinary category and four levels of disciplinary discernment: Identification, Explanation, Appreciation, and Evaluation. Our analysis demonstrates a clear relationship between educational level and the level of disciplinary discernment.

     

    The analytic outcomes of the study suggest that teachers may create more effective learning environments by explicitly crafting their teaching to support the discernment of various aspects of disciplinary semiotic resources in order to facilitate the crossing of boundaries in the ADD model.

  • 38.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. Kristianstad University.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Redfors, Andreas
    Kristianstad University.
    Tell me what you see: Differences in what is discerned when professors and students view the same disciplinary semiotic resource2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Traditionally, astronomy and physics have been viewed as difficult subjects to master. The movement from everyday conceptions of the world around us to a disciplinary interpretation is fraught with pitfalls and problems. What characterises a disciplinary insider’s discernment of phenomena in astronomy and how does it compare to the views of newcomers to the field? In this paper we report on a study into what students and professors discern (cf. Eriksson et al, in press) from the same disciplinary semiotic resource and use this to propose an Anatomy of Disciplinary Discernment (ADD) as an overarching characterization of disciplinary learning.

    Students and professors in astronomy and physics were asked to describe what they could discern from a simulation video of travel through our Galaxy and beyond (Tully, 2012). In all, 137 people from nine countries participated. The descriptions were analysed using a hermeneutic, constant comparison approach (Seebohm, 2004; Strauss, 1987). Analysis culminated in the formulation of five hierarchically arranged, qualitatively different categories of discernment. This ADD modelling of the data consists of one non-disciplinary category and four levels of disciplinary discernment: Identification, Explanation, Appreciation, and Evaluation. Our analysis demonstrates a clear relationship between educational level and the level of disciplinary discernment.

     

    The analytic outcomes of the study suggest that teachers may create more effective learning environments by explicitly crafting their teaching to support the discernment of various aspects of disciplinary semiotic resources in order to facilitate the crossing of boundaries in the ADD model.

  • 39.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Uppsala University.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala University.
    Redfors, Andreas
    Kristianstad University.
    The Anatomy of Disciplinary Discernment: An argument for a spiral trajectory of learning in physics education2014In: The First Conference of the International Association for Cognitive Semiotics (IACS), Lund, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Traditionally, physics has been viewed as a difficult subject to master. The movement from everyday conceptions of the world around us to a disciplinary interpretation is fraught with problems. What characterises this disciplinary development from learner to expert? In this presentation we report on a study involving what students and professors discern from a disciplinary representation and use this to propose an Anatomy of Disciplinary Discernment (ADD) as an overarching characterization of disciplinary learning. To do this we bring together three important educational ideas – first, Bruner’s (1960) notion of the spiral curriculum. Second, Fredlund, Airey, and Linder’s (2012) notion of disciplinary affordances -- the ‘inherent potential of a representation to provide access to disciplinary knowledge’. Thirdly Eriksson, Linder, Airey, and Redfors’ (2013) notion of disciplinary discernment -- noticing something (eg. Mason, 2002), reflecting on it (Schön, 1983), and constructing (disciplinary) meaning (Marton & Booth, 1997).

    Students in astronomy and their teaching professors were asked to describe what they discerned from a simulation video of travel through our galaxy and beyond. In all, 137 people from nine countries participated. The descriptions were analysed using a standard interpretive study approach (Erickson, 1986; Gallagher, 1991). This resulted in the formulation of five qualitatively different categories of discernment.

    We found that these categories of disciplinary discernment could be arranged into an anatomy of hierarchically increasing levels of disciplinary discernment and subsequently the idea of ADD with a unit of analysis being the discernment of disciplinary affordance. The ADD modelling for the data incorporated four increasing levels disciplinary discernment: Identification, Explanation, Appreciation, and Evaluation. The visualization of the analysis demonstrates a clear relationship between educational level and the level of disciplinary discernment. Hence, the ADD can be seen to be related to Bruner’s concept of the spiral curriculum idea and through this relationship projects a learning trajectory that students experience while moving through the educational system.

    The analytic outcomes of the study suggest how teachers may gain insight into how to create more effective learning environments for students to successfully negotiate a required learning trajectory by explicitly crafting the teaching to support the crossing of boundaries.

  • 40.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. Kristianstad University.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Redfors, Andreas
    Kristianstad University.
    The Anatomy of Disciplinary Discernment: An argument for a spiral trajectory of learning in physics education2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Traditionally, physics has been viewed as a difficult subject to master. The movement from everyday conceptions of the world around us to a disciplinary interpretation is fraught with problems. What characterises this disciplinary development from learner to expert? In this presentation we report on a study involving what students and professors discern from a disciplinary representation and use this to propose an Anatomy of Disciplinary Discernment (ADD) as an overarching characterization of disciplinary learning. To do this we bring together three important educational ideas – first, Bruner’s (1960) notion of the spiral curriculum. Second, Fredlund, Airey, and Linder’s (2012) notion of disciplinary affordances -- the ‘inherent potential of a representation to provide access to disciplinary knowledge’. Thirdly Eriksson, Linder, Airey, and Redfors’ (2013) notion of disciplinary discernment -- noticing something (eg. Mason, 2002), reflecting on it (Schön, 1983), and constructing (disciplinary) meaning (Marton & Booth, 1997).

     

    Students in astronomy and their teaching professors were asked to describe what they discerned from a simulation video of travel through our galaxy and beyond. In all, 137 people from nine countries participated. The descriptions were analysed using a standard interpretive study approach (Erickson, 1986; Gallagher, 1991). This resulted in the formulation of five qualitatively different categories of discernment.

     

    We found that these categories of disciplinary discernment could be arranged into an anatomy of hierarchically increasing levels of disciplinary discernment and subsequently the idea of ADD with a unit of analysis being the discernment of disciplinary affordance. The ADD modelling for the data incorporated four increasing levels disciplinary discernment: Identification, Explanation, Appreciation, and Evaluation. The visualization of the analysis demonstrates a clear relationship between educational level and the level of disciplinary discernment. Hence, the ADD can be seen to be related to Bruner’s concept of the spiral curriculum idea and through this relationship projects a learning trajectory that students experience while moving through the educational system.

     

    The analytic outcomes of the study suggest how teachers may gain insight into how to create more effective learning environments for students to successfully negotiate a required learning trajectory by explicitly crafting the teaching to support the crossing of boundaries.

     

    References

     

    Bruner, J. S. (1960). The process of education: Harvard University Press.

    Erickson, F. (1986). Qualitative methods in research on teaching. In M. C. Wittrock (Ed.), Handbook of research on teaching (3 ed., pp. 119-161). New York: Macmillan.

    Eriksson, U., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Redfors, A. (2013). Who needs 3D when the Universe is flat? Accepted by Science Education.

    Fredlund, T., Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2012). Exploring the role of physics representations: an illustrative example from students sharing knowledge about refraction. European Journal of Physics, 33(3), 657.

    Gallagher, J. J. (1991). Interpretive research in science education, Vol. 4. Manhattan, KS: National Association for Research in Science Teaching.

    Marton, F., & Booth, S. (1997). Learning and Awareness: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Mason, J. (2002). Researching your own practice : the discipline of noticing. London: Routledge Farmer.

    Schön, D. A. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books.

     

     

     

  • 41.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala universitet.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala universitet.
    Redfors, Andreas
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap.
    The overlooked challenge of learning to extrapolate three-dimensionality2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Learning astronomy has many learning challenges due to the highly diverse, conceptual, and theoretical thinking used in the discipline. One taken for granted challenge is the learning to 

    extrapolate three-dimensionality. Although we have the ability to see our surroundings in three- dimensional terms, beyond a distance of about 200m this ability quickly becomes very limited. So, when looking up at the night sky, learning to discern critical features that are embedded in dimensionality does not come easily. There have been several articles addressing how fruitful 3D simulations are for astronomy education, but they do not address what students discern, nor the nature of that discernment. Taking the concept of discernment to be about noticing something and assigning meaning to it, our research question is: In terms of dimensionality, what do astronomy/physics students and professors discern when engaging with a simulated video fly- through of our Galaxy and beyond?

    A web-based questionnaire was designed using links to video clips drawn from a well-regarded simulation-video of travel through our galaxy and beyond. 137 physics and astronomy university students and teaching professors, who were drawn from nine countries, completed the questionnaire. The descriptions provided by them were used to formulate six categories of discernment in relation to multidimensionality. These results are used to make the case that astronomy learning that aims at developing the ability to extrapolate three-dimensionality needs to be grounded in the creation of meaningful motion parallax experiences. Teaching and learning implications are discussed. 

  • 42.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. Kristianstad University.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Redfors, Andreas
    Kristianstad University.
    Watching the Sky: New realizations, new meaning, and surprizing aspects in university level astronomy2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 43.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. Kristianstad University.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Redfors, Andreas
    Kristianstad University.
    Watching the sky: new realizations, new meanings, and surprizing aspects in university level astronomy2011In: E-Book Proceedings of the ESERA 2011 Conference: Science learning and Citizenship. Part 3: Teaching and learning science / [ed] Catherine Bruguière, Andrée Tiberghien, Pierre Clément, Lyon, France: European Science Education Research Association , 2011, p. 57-63Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Learning astronomy is challenging at all levels due to the highly specialized form of communication used to share knowledge. When taking astronomy courses at different levels at university, learners are exposed to a variety of representations that are intended to help them learn about the structure and complexity of the Universe. However, not much is known about the reflective awareness that these representations evoke. Using a simulation video that provides a vivid virtual journey through our Milky Way galaxy, the nature of this awareness is captured and categorised for an array of learners (benchmark by results obtained for experts). The results illustrate how the number and nature of new things grounded in dimensionality, scale, time and perspective reflective awareness can too easily be taken for granted by both teachers and learners.

  • 44.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala universitet.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala universitet.
    Redfors, Andreas
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap.
    What do teachers of astronomy need to think about?2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Learning astronomy has exciting prospects for many students; learning about the stars in the

    sky, the planets, galaxies, etc., is often very inspiring and sets the mind on the really big

    aspects of astronomy as a science; the Universe. At the same time, learning astronomy can be

    a challenging endeavor for many students. One of the most difficult things to come to

    understand is how big the Universe is. Despite seeming trivial, size and distances, together

    with the three-dimensional (3D) structure of the Universe, probably present some of the

    biggest challenges in the teaching and learning of astronomy

    (Eriksson, Linder, Airey, &

    Redfors, in preparation; Lelliott & Rollnick, 2010). This is the starting point for every

    astronomy educator. From here, an educationally critical question to ask is: how can we best

    approach the teaching of astronomy to optimize the potential for our students attaining a

    holistic understanding about the nature of the Universe?

    Resent research indicates that to develop students’ understanding about the structure of the

    Universe, computer generated 3D simulations can be used to provide the students with an

    experience that other representations cannot easily provide (Eriksson et al., in preparation;

    Joseph, 2011). These simulations offer disciplinary affordance* through the generation of

    motion parallax for the viewer. Using this background we will present the results of a recent

    investigation that we completed looking at what students’ discern (notice with meaning)

    about the multidimensionality of the Universe. Implications for astronomy education will be

    discussed and exemplified.

    *[T]he inherent potential of [a] representation to provide access to disciplinary knowledge

    (Fredlund, Airey, & Linder, 2012, p. 658)

    Eriksson, U., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Redfors, A. (in preparation). Who needs 3D when the

    Universe is flat?

    Fredlund, T., Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2012). Exploring the role of physics representations: an

    illustrative example from students sharing knowledge about refraction. European

    Journal of Physics, 33(3), 657.

    Joseph, N. M. (2011). Stereoscopic Visualization as a Tool For Learning Astronomy

    Concepts. (Master of Science), Purdue University, Purdue University Press Journals.

    Lelliott, A., & Rollnick, M. (2010). Big Ideas: A review of astronomy education research

    1974--2008. International Journal of Science Education, 32(13), 1771–1799

  • 45.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. Kristianstad University.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Redfors, Andreas
    Kristianstad University.
    What do teachers of astronomy need to think about?2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Learning astronomy has exciting prospects for many students; learning about the stars in the

    sky, the planets, galaxies, etc., is often very inspiring and sets the mind on the really big

    aspects of astronomy as a science; the Universe. At the same time, learning astronomy can be

    a challenging endeavor for many students. One of the most difficult things to come to

    understand is how big the Universe is. Despite seeming trivial, size and distances, together

    with the three-dimensional (3D) structure of the Universe, probably present some of the

    biggest challenges in the teaching and learning of astronomy

    (Eriksson, Linder, Airey, &

    Redfors, in preparation; Lelliott & Rollnick, 2010). This is the starting point for every

    astronomy educator. From here, an educationally critical question to ask is: how can we best

    approach the teaching of astronomy to optimize the potential for our students attaining a

    holistic understanding about the nature of the Universe?

    Resent research indicates that to develop students’ understanding about the structure of the

    Universe, computer generated 3D simulations can be used to provide the students with an

    experience that other representations cannot easily provide (Eriksson et al., in preparation;

    Joseph, 2011). These simulations offer disciplinary affordance* through the generation of

    motion parallax for the viewer. Using this background we will present the results of a recent

    investigation that we completed looking at what students’ discern (notice with meaning)

    about the multidimensionality of the Universe. Implications for astronomy education will be

    discussed and exemplified.

    *[T]he inherent potential of [a] representation to provide access to disciplinary knowledge

    (Fredlund, Airey, & Linder, 2012, p. 658)

    Eriksson, U., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Redfors, A. (in preparation). Who needs 3D when the

    Universe is flat?

    Fredlund, T., Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2012). Exploring the role of physics representations: an

    illustrative example from students sharing knowledge about refraction. European

    Journal of Physics, 33(3), 657.

    Joseph, N. M. (2011). Stereoscopic Visualization as a Tool For Learning Astronomy

    Concepts. (Master of Science), Purdue University, Purdue University Press Journals.

    Lelliott, A., & Rollnick, M. (2010). Big Ideas: A review of astronomy education research

    1974--2008. International Journal of Science Education, 32(13), 1771–1799

  • 46.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Uppsala University.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University.
    Airey, John
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Language and Literature. Uppsala University.
    Redfors, Andreas
    Kristianstad University.
    Who needs 3D when the Universe is flat?2012In: Gordon Research Conference Astronomy's Discoveries and Physics Education, June 17-22, 2012, Waterville: Colby Collage , 2012Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 47.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. Kristianstad University.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
    Redfors, Andreas
    Kristianstad University.
    Who needs 3D when the Universe is flat?2012Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 48.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA).
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University.
    Airey, John
    Uppsala University.
    Redfors, Andreas
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA).
    Who needs 3D when the universe is flat?2014In: Science Education, ISSN 0036-8326, E-ISSN 1098-237X, Vol. 98, no 3, p. 412-442Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An overlooked feature in astronomy education is the need for students to learn to extrapolate three-dimensionality and the challenges that this may involve. Discerning critical features in the night sky that are embedded in dimensionality is a long-term learning process. Several articles have addressed the usefulness of three-dimensional (3D) simulations in astronomy education, but they have neither addressed what students discern nor the nature of that discernment. A Web-based questionnaire was designed using links to video clips drawn from a simulation video of travel through our galaxy and beyond. The questionnaire was completed by 137 participants from nine countries across a broad span of astronomy education. The descriptions provided by the participants were analyzed using hermeneutics in combination with a constant comparative approach to formulate six categories of discernment in relation to multidimensionality. These results are used to make the case that the ability to extrapolate three-dimensionality calls for the creation of meaningful motion parallax experiences.

  • 49.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, Faculty of Education, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, Faculty of Education, Avdelningen för matematik- och naturvetenskapernas didaktik. Nationellt resurscentrum för fysik, Lunds universitet.
    Pendrill, Anne-Marie
    Lund University.
    Up and down, light and heavy, fast and slow: but where?2019In: Physics Education, ISSN 0031-9120, E-ISSN 1361-6552, Vol. 54, no 2Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Vertical amusement rides let your body experience the tickling sensation of feeling light, but also feeling much heavier than as usual, due to velocity changes as you move up and down. Family rides offer different possibilities to visualize the forces that are experienced by your accelerating body. This paper presents a number of different ways to view and experience the motion in a small vertical amusement ride. A smartphone includes an accelerometer that can provide a graph of the forces acting during the ride. A movie from the smartphone camera lets students recall the motion which can then be analysed in more detail. The complementary representations may help students develop a deeper understanding of the relation between force and motion. The affordances of these different semiotic resources are analysed in some detail. In addition, we discuss responses from a number of students to questions about where you feel light and where you feel heavy. We find that the experience of the body is an underused resource in physics teaching.

  • 50.
    Eriksson, Urban
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, Faculty of Education, Research environment Learning in Science and Mathematics (LISMA). Kristianstad University, Faculty of Education, Avdelningen för matematik- och naturvetenskapernas didaktik. Nationellt resurscentrum för fysik, Lunds universitet.
    Pendrill, Ann-Marie
    Nationellt resurscentrum för fysik.
    Up and down, light and heavy, fast and slow: but where?2019In: Physics Education, ISSN 0031-9120, E-ISSN 1361-6552, Vol. 54, no 2Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Vertical amusement rides let your body experience the tickling sensation of feeling light, but also feeling much heavier than as usual, due to velocity changes as you move up and down. Family rides offer different possibilities to visualize the forces that are experienced by your accelerating body. This paper presents a number of different ways to view and experience the motion in a small vertical amusement ride. A smartphone includes an accelerometer that can provide a graph of the forces acting during the ride. A movie from the smartphone camera lets students recall the motion which can then be analysed in more detail. The complementary representations may help students develop a deeper understanding of the relation between force and motion. The affordances of these different semiotic resources are analysed in some detail. In addition, we discuss responses from a number of students to questions about where you feel light and where you feel heavy. We find that the experience of the body is an underused resource in physics teaching.

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