NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1040099
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 106
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
History of Physics as a Tool to Detect the Conceptual Difficulties Experienced by Students: The Case of Simple Electric Circuits in Primary Education
Leone, Matteo
Science & Education, v23 n4 p923-953 Apr 2014
The present paper advocates the use of History of Science into the teaching of science in primary education through a case study in the field of electricity. In this study, which provides both historical and experimental evidence, a number of conceptual difficulties faced by early nineteenth century physicists are shown to be a useful tool to detect 5th grade pupils' conceptions about the simple electric circuits. This result was obtained through the administration of schematics showing circuital situation inspired to early 1800s experiments on the effects of electric current on water electrolysis and on the behaviour of magnetic compasses. It is also shown that the detecting of pupils' alternative ideas about electric current in a circuit is highly dependent on the survey methodology (open ended questions and drawings, multiple-choice item, connecting card work, and history of science tasks were considered in this study) and that the so-called "unipolar model" of electric circuit is more pervasive than previously acknowledged. Finally, a highly significant hybrid model of electric current is identified.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A