Since Eons, Humans have used the movement of stars and planets to navigate and wanders across vast oceans and to across the arid deserts. They have looked up at the stars and to answer the question of who we are and how we go here. We have tried to concoct different stories to try to answer that question. From constellations forming up in the shape of gods of Greeks and Romans to the Sun god Ra in Egyptian mythology.
It is a discipline that opens our eyes, gives context to our place in the Universe, and can reshape how we see the world. When Copernicus said that Earth is not the center of the universe, it triggered a revolution. A revolution in which science, religion, cultures had to adapt to this new world view.
The importance of scientific education should always be emphasized, Astronomy is a good way of teaching the basic principles of scientific knowledge since it has been done so from centuries.
“Despite its comparatively small size, the astronomical community has the potential to add significantly to the continuing effort to strengthen science education and improve public science literacy. Astronomical concepts and images have universal appeal, inspiring wonder and resonating uniquely with human questions about our nature and our place in the universe. This widespread interest in astronomy can be tapped not only to increase knowledge and understanding on the part of students and the public alike but also to illuminate the nature of science, as well as its power and limitations in shaping our future. Moreover, the interdisciplinary nature of astronomy and its natural links with technology and instrumentation position the field to contribute significantly to building a strong technical workforce for the 21st century.”
The field of Astronomy is one of a kind in which people from all the ethnic backgrounds regardless of their religion, culture, color come and work together to understand and know our place in the universe.
As famously said by Carl Sagan;
We’re made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.
It enables us to change our views of how we see each other and understand one another. The kind of society we live today, I believe that Astronomy can help in changing the views of people
Astronomy tells us that we are one and we need to work together and share our knowledge and skills to answer the ultimate question of “WHO WE ARE?”
So it should be taught to every child, a student both in school and college level to make them understand better about our world and how special and unique our place in the universe is. Astronomy can make children dream big and aim for the stars, find ways to preserve our dying planet, and look for new worlds that will help the coming generations.
To make them know that there is something beyond the walls of college and universities….something beyond the daily life cycle and is waiting to be studied and understood.
Why Teach Astronomy in Schools?
As Fraknoi (1996) has eloquently pointed out, astronomy education takes place in many settings outside the classroom; books and magazines, radio and TV, astronomy clubs, amateur and youth groups and camps, and on the Internet. These can be powerful influences, but they are voluntary for both students and the public. There is much to be said in including astronomy in the formal school curriculum, as long as the right material is taught, and taught well. Then we can be assured that most or all of the population will eventually be exposed to the core concepts and skills of astronomy. Through a contribution of school and public education, astronomy becomes part of the national culture.
For centuries, astronomy was a core subject in a good classical education. Why is astronomy still an important subject for the school curriculum ?
- Astronomy has influenced our history and culture through its practical applications and its philosophical and religious implications. Our calendars have an astronomical basis.
There are many individuals and organizations around the world who are prepared to advise and assist you.I am certainly one. The International Astronomical Union’s Commission on The Teaching of Astronomy has the goal of developing and improving astronomy education at all levels throughout the world. You can visit their WWW site at https://physics.open.uk/IAU46/ This site links to many other useful sites around the world.