Analyzing Gifted Students' Explanations for Daily Celestial Motion Based on the Earth-based and Heliocentric Frames of Reference

  • Chae, Donghyun (Jeonju National University of Education) ;
  • Han, Jejun (Jeonju National University of Education) ;
  • Kim, Eunjeong (Jeonju National University of Education)
  • Received : 2013.03.07
  • Accepted : 2013.04.30
  • Published : 2013.05.31


This study aims to investigate gifted students' explanations for daily celestial motion from the Earth-based and heliocentric frames of reference. Eleven sixth-grade elementary school students were chosen for this study and data was collected through a questionnaire and an in-depth interview. The collected data was analyzed into celestial objects which are the Sun, the moon and the stars and analyzed based on the Earth-based and heliocentric perspectives again. As a result of the research, most gifted students were able to connect the Earth-based and heliocentric frames of reference with the Sun's daily apparent motion. However, they understood the daily apparent motion of the moon and the stars far less frequently compared to the Sun's motion and could not explain the Earth's rotation clearly. The result of the interview showed that the lack of understanding about the daily celestial motion was caused by inaccurate understanding of the Earth's rotation such as using memorized knowledge learned in school and guessing the answer.


Daily celestial motion;Frames of reference;The Earth's rotation


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