Teachers' & Students' Concepts of the Measurement of the Size of the Earth

  • Chae, Donghyun (Jeonju National University of Education) ;
  • Han, Jejun (Jeonju National University of Education)
  • Received : 2013.02.12
  • Accepted : 2013.04.02
  • Published : 2013.05.31


The purpose of this study is to figure out how teachers conduct an experiment in measuring the size of the Earth and how students recognize it. For this study, an in-depth interview was conducted one week after the lesson on the experiment about measuring the size of the Earth. The participants were five secondary school teachers and five secondary school students. The in-depth interview was recorded and transcribed. The result of the interview was drawn through an inductive categorized analysis method. As a conclusion of this study, the teachers taught the students the lesson using alternate angles instead of using the altitude of the Sun. Their lessons were based on Eratosthene's story or some related illustrations suggested in the textbook and not based on an explanation of the principle. Also, students measured the Earth's size only by using alternate angles and didn't understand the meaning of the shadow in the experiment. The results of this study show that teachers need to reconstruct the textbook and understand the accurate experimental principle for the students to have a meaningful experience of the experiment on measuring the size of the Earth.


measuring the Earth's size;the Sun's altitude;alternate angle;Eratosthenes's measurement of the Earth's size


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