Electrical Circuit
Electricity and Magnetism

Things you'll need to decide on as you plan: Setting Up Electrical Loops

Teaching Guidance for 14-16 Supporting Physics Teaching

Bringing together two sets of constraints

Focusing on the learners:

Distinguishing–eliciting–connecting. How to:

  • draw out the ideas that students use to make predictions
  • separate ideas of current and voltage, met previously
  • connect calculations done to ideas used to account for the circuits
  • reinforce the difference between series and parallel connections in circuits

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:

  • emphasise the necessity of representing the complete loop as a connected system
  • link the phenomena to the toolkits that you use to make predictions
  • make the tookits evidently intelligible and fruitful
  • use teaching models systematically
  • give physical reasons for changes in current as the circuit is altered

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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