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Towards space science education: A study of students¿ perceptions of the role and value of a space science program

Journal Article


Abstract


  • The field of Space has become very important in the wake of opportunities and strategic advantages accrued from it. It has become increasingly evident that space science education is beginning to gain grounds in the 21st century and it is perceived to bring about Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) awareness providing a context for teaching and learning of the subject. The competitive nature of Space means developing nations will need to invest in the skills that the industry needs by way of sustained pathways, incentivised research and development, and assured a favourable prevailing business environment by way of creating capacities and capabilities in space sciences. Through an explanatory study, we draw on students’ responses (N = 504, interviews = 20) to investigate the educational need of a space science program. Findings revealed implications for the quality and function of a space science program which provide a platform for engagement in space related research and development. Data also demonstrated key facts with the potential of increasing the future of space science instruction which will necessitate a paradigm shift towards the value of space education in the phase of integrating a space science program in the curriculum. The paper concludes with recommendations for practitioners responsible for integration of new curriculum in science education in higher education sectors.

Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Afful, A. M., Hamilton, M., & Kootsookos, A. (2020). Towards space science education: A study of students¿ perceptions of the role and value of a space science program. Acta Astronautica, 167, 351-359. doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2019.11.025

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85075519325

Start Page


  • 351

End Page


  • 359

Volume


  • 167

Abstract


  • The field of Space has become very important in the wake of opportunities and strategic advantages accrued from it. It has become increasingly evident that space science education is beginning to gain grounds in the 21st century and it is perceived to bring about Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) awareness providing a context for teaching and learning of the subject. The competitive nature of Space means developing nations will need to invest in the skills that the industry needs by way of sustained pathways, incentivised research and development, and assured a favourable prevailing business environment by way of creating capacities and capabilities in space sciences. Through an explanatory study, we draw on students’ responses (N = 504, interviews = 20) to investigate the educational need of a space science program. Findings revealed implications for the quality and function of a space science program which provide a platform for engagement in space related research and development. Data also demonstrated key facts with the potential of increasing the future of space science instruction which will necessitate a paradigm shift towards the value of space education in the phase of integrating a space science program in the curriculum. The paper concludes with recommendations for practitioners responsible for integration of new curriculum in science education in higher education sectors.

Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Afful, A. M., Hamilton, M., & Kootsookos, A. (2020). Towards space science education: A study of students¿ perceptions of the role and value of a space science program. Acta Astronautica, 167, 351-359. doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2019.11.025

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85075519325

Start Page


  • 351

End Page


  • 359

Volume


  • 167