The application of the planetarium as an education tool
"Planetariums are considered to be educationally valuable Teaching Tools
and there seems to exist a Demand for them; but for a Variety of Reasons
Planetariums are underused in Education."
The study was stimulated by the fact that the planetarium as a theme has
been completely neglected by educational research in the very country of
its origin, Germany. Limited research done elsewhere is focussed on
themes concerned with the selected application of the planetarium but no
survey has been undertaken on its wider acceptance and its apparent underuse.
A broad spectrum investigation has therefore been conducted, guided
by the general hypothesis printed at the head of this abstract.
The thesis is presented in 3 chapters:
I Introduction with one essay on the "Science of Astronomy"
and one essay on the "History , Purpose and Design of the
II The Educational Value and the Educational Potential of the
Planetarium and Demand for School Planetariums;
III The Underuse of the Planetarium.
Actual work was preceded by initial exploratory and pilot surveys which
established the relevance of the research problem, the validity of the
hypothesis and the feasibility of the project.
6 opinion polls including tests with 535 planetarium visitors were conducted
both internationally and nationally and also literature was evaluated
in order to determine opinions and attitudes about the educational
value and the educational potential of the planetarium and the demand for
planetariums. All those concerned with the planetarium in one capacity or
other were involved.
The planetarium's intrinsic value was assessed from a study of the scope
and quality of its functions as a teaching tool.
Experiments performed in the planetarium confirmed the planetarium's
effectiveness in both the cognitive and affective domains.
Demand was also established on the level of the Ministries of Education
but could not be confirmed as being known to the manufacturers.
The underuse of the planetarium and many reasons responsible for it were
confirmed by 9 further surveys.
20 surveys and 5 experiments involving the participation of N = 1187 subjects
were conducted, and an advertising campaign with 2420 schools for
school planetariums has been evaluated.
The hypothesis was essentially supported by the results of the surveys
Organisational Scheme of the Thesis
____ . .........:A-t.=-b:.;.:sPt:::_.;:rrao::...::lc:•:.o..g:t::!a!_~.:nuI.':n!.t:reo::d!u. ction (in Chapter 1)
Chapter I Chapter II I Chapter III
with 12 Paragraphs
Educational Value of the
flanetarium and Demand
The Underuse of the planetarium
Essay: "The Science of Astronomy" Introduction Introduction
Essay: "The Planetarium. its History,: 2 Preparatory Surveys
Purpose, and Design" j' 2 Evaluative Surveys
5 Opinion Polls
1 Set of 5 Educational Experiments I
1 Survey on Demand I
--.--.--- ..----. -------- -- --- L__ _
3 Surveys in the Cultural Scene
and 1 Discussion of a Thesis
3 Surveys in the Educational Scene
2 Surveys with Manufacturers
General Summary. Evaluation. Conclusion. Implications. and Recommendations
Originality of the Work. the Product of the Research. Recommendations for further Research
Index of Literature