Electrical Circuit
Electricity and Magnetism

Things you'll need to decide on as you plan: Modelling Simple Electrical Loops

Teaching Guidance for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

Bringing together two sets of constraints

Focusing on the learners:

Distinguishing–eliciting–connecting. How to:

  • build on the helpful ideas present
  • avoid injecting unhelpful lines of thinking
  • construct a model of flow, relating this to current
  • build on the idea that something is used up
  • draw out, and challenge wrong track thinking

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:

  • deal with a circuit loop as a single linked system
  • focus on the steady-flow state, not on transients
  • work practical experiences in with theoretical descriptions
  • develop a toolkit to support pupils' reasoning about circuits

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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