Electrical Circuit
Electricity and Magnetism

Things you'll need to decide on as you plan: Electrical Working in Loops

Teaching Guidance for 14-16 Supporting Physics Teaching

Bringing together two sets of constraints

Focusing on the learners:

Distinguishing–eliciting–connecting. How to:

  • avoid cluttering up learners with inappropriate ideas
  • avoid unhelpful experiences
  • avoid drowning in a sea of algebra or arithmetic
  • keeping ideas of power, energy, charge and current separate

Teacher Tip: These are all related to findings about children's ideas from research. The teaching activities will provide some suggestions. So will colleagues, near and far.

Focusing on the physics:

Representing–noticing–recording. How to:

  • avoid using the unhelpful term electrical energy
  • introduce the idea of continuing (electrical) working whilst the loop is complete
  • distinguish clearly between energy in stores (joule) and power in pathways (watt)
  • consistently model series and parallel connections

Teacher Tip: Connecting what is experienced with what is written and drawn is essential to making sense of the connections between the theoretical world of physics and the lived-in world of the children. Don't forget to exemplify this action.

Limit Less Campaign

Support our manifesto for change

The IOP wants to support young people to fulfil their potential by doing physics. Please sign the manifesto today so that we can show our politicians there is widespread support for improving equity and inclusion across the education sector.

Sign today