Capstone Project Title
Professor Alyssa Hamre-Kontak
The guiding question for my capstone project was: how can inquiry-based astronomy curriculum that is culturally sustaining and differentiated be effectively adapted to the online setting with student equity as a prime consideration? The curriculum designed for this project focuses on integrating CAST’s Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework into online lessons. Lessons also increase engagement by incorporating inquiry and culturally sustaining content. The curriculum is intended to be used in the online setting as a high school astronomy elective, but lessons could also be used in regular classrooms or environmental learning centers. A key takeaway of the project is that astronomy naturally lends itself to culturally sustaining instruction, but this opportunity is frequently overlooked. Throughout history, almost all cultures have studied the night sky, attaching their own stories and significance to the movement of the heavens. Studying the contributions to astronomy of different people groups helps students realize that astronomy is truly one of the oldest sciences with collaborators all over the world. Another important finding is that online instruction must balance differentiation with clear instruction. Offering too many options can actually be counterproductive and create confusion on exactly what is required. It is the responsibility of the educator to assess the needs of their learners and design activities that allow for student choice while still enabling all learners to meet tangible learning objectives.
Curriculum, Multicultural Education, Science, Technology
Morris, Sophie, "Inquiry-Based Astronomy Curriculum for the Online Setting that is Culturally Sustaining and Equity-Centered" (2022). School of Education and Leadership Student Capstone Projects. 809.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects