Many students think magnets stick to specific objects instead of understanding the attractive force that acts at a distance or through intervening materials

Electricity and Magnetism


Resources to Address This

  • Hanging with magnetism! (11-14)

    Begin magnetism lessons with this demonstration illustrating magnetic action-at-a-distance. Experiment by inserting various materials between the magnet and the hanger to explore shielding effects. For example, the hanger falls when a magnetic sheet is placed in the gap.

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  • Preston, C. () Effect of a Science Diagram on Primary Students’ Understanding About Magnets. Research in Science Education, 46 (6), 857-877.

  • Haupt, G. W. () Concepts of magnetism held by elementary school children. Science Education, 36 (3), 162-168.

  • Van Hook, S. J. and Huziak-Clark, T. L. () Tip-to-Tail: Developing a Conceptual Model of Magnetism with Kindergartners Using Inquiry-Based Instruction. Journal of Elementary Science Education, 19 (2), 45-58.

  • Finley, F. N. () Evaluating instruction: The complementary use of clinical interviews. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 23 (17), 635-650.

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