Electrical Circuit
Electricity and Magnetism

Separating current and voltage measurements

Teaching Guidance for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

Emphasising the differences between current and voltage measurements

Thinking about the learning

Introducing the idea of voltage and voltage measurement with a voltmeter can create confusions for pupils who tend to mix them up with existing ideas about electric current. The fact that ammeters and voltmeters look just the same can add to this confusion.

Teacher Tip: Emphasise the different functions that voltage and current fulfil in the electric circuit model.

Thinking about the teaching

It is a good idea to explicitly refer to the two stories which can be drawn upon in thinking and talking about electric circuits. These two stories are:

  • The charge/electric current story.
  • The power/voltage story.

Referring to the two sets of ideas in this way can help pupils to see the difference between them.

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