Lessons 4 & 5. These lessons are about the
history of astronomy and the people who are responsible
views of astronomy today.They are based on the evidence
that they provided and the conclusions that they drew
and it looks at the reliability, or otherwise, of that
evidence. The emphasis is on the evidence that survives
today and how that initial evidence was accepted at the
time. It is important that the pupils realise that the
perspective of the evidence can change over time and
how new evidence makes people think and re-evaluate previous
Lesson 4 is concerned with documentary evidence from five different types of sources; primary sources (postcard and diary) and secondary sources (books, newspapers and the internet). In each case the authenticity of the source and the possibility of bias can be discussed. Pupils follow the historical development of ideas in astronomy over time; sometimes not much happens and then a new technology such as the telescope can lead to several major advances quite quickly.
Lesson 5 is a dramatised audio discussion between the five astronomers from lesson 4 (Aristotle, Copernicus, Galileo, Caroline Herschel and Clyde Tombaugh) which illustrates how their ideas were accepted (or not) and built upon. Scientific method places emphasis on hypothesis and the need for evidence before a theory can be formulated and this lesson also looks at the different elements of scientific method. Present day astronomers at the CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory explain what they do and what they hope to find out about in space.