Küçüközer and Kocakülah (2007)
This Turkish study explores secondary students' preconceptions about simple series and parallel electric circuits with bulbs, particularly their predictions about bulb brightness, linking to their understanding of current and voltage. The study confirms previous misconceptions and suggests solutions.
- Use analogies to counteract misconceptions of current consumed by circuit components, such as the bicycle pedalling system.
- Use ammeters to demonstrate current is conserved in circuits. Discuss these readings and why current is conserved.
- Some students believe that a battery can supply a constant current, regardless of the circuit it is in and that circuit’s resistance.
- Most students believe that current decreases as it passes through bulbs.
- Many students cannot clearly differentiate between the ideas of current, potential difference or energy.
- Students believe that altering components ‘in front of’ a bulb will affect its brightness but not alter the components ‘after’ it.
The aim of this study was to reveal secondary school students' misconceptions about simple electric circuits and define whether specific misconceptions particular to Turkish students exist within those identified.
Evidence was collected using a set of open-ended questions followed by an interview with a random sample of the students. Six of the eight questions were partially modified from existing studies and the two remaining were devised by the authors. The responses by the students were classified into 7 categories and the percentages for each answer were calculated.
Details of the sample
The sample consisted of 76 14-year-old students. All students completed the question set and 9 were later interviewed.