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.

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