Magnets wearing out
Teaching Guidance for 5-11 11-14
Wrong Track: The magnet sends out electricity to make it attract and repel. That's why it loses its strength.
Right Lines: Magnets wear out as their internal mini-magnets become disordered, pointing in all directions.
Thinking about magnets wearing out
Thinking about the learning
In real life,
permanent magnets do wear out and lose their magnetism. Pupils sometimes associate this with the magnet
giving something out to make it attract and repel.
Thinking about the teaching
This idea of the magnet sending out electricity is incorrect, but the question as to why magnets wear out is a good one. It's best thought of in terms of the mini-magnet model introduced in the Physics Narrative.