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Caribbean Journal of Education

Astronomy Education in the Caribbean: Conferences and Curricula

Publication Date: 
December 2022

A new series of Caribbean-based conferences, known as the Caribbean Astronomy Conferences, was begun in 2017 to showcase Caribbean astronomy research and to foster increased collaboration among the various peoples, islands, and organizations in the Caribbean focused on astronomy and astronomy-related activities. This and other outreach activities emphasized the gaping hole in astronomy education throughout the region. We propose, not just that this series of conferences be continued (and herein offer a framework that would help ensure its continuing success), but also that astronomy should be included as a new subject offering by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) at both the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency (CAPE) levels. Diversity and inclusivity are at the heart of any such movement. As such, we argue that the conference series should be structured so as to demonstrate the utility of multi-sensorial techniques for astronomy education as well as for professional data analysis in the astronomical sciences. These conferences, using the platform of The University of the West Indies for the English-speaking Caribbean, would then underscore that such methodologies are effective educational and research tools for any aspect of expertise or interest. They would also establish new collaborations among educators, scientists, and the general public from nations that have not been so engaged, and educate a generation of children — presenting to them another diverse career option with significant transferable skills.

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