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ERIC Number: EJ1048759
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1449-6313
Reasoning about Magnetism at the Microscopic Level
Cheng, Meng-Fei; Cheng, Yufang; Hung, Shuo-Hsien
Teaching Science, v60 n3 p43-45 Sep 2014
Based on our experience of teaching physics in middle and senior secondary school, we have found that students have difficulty in reasoning at the microscopic level. Their reasoning is limited to the observational level so they have problems in developing scientific models of magnetism. Here, we suggest several practical activities and the use of interactive computer simulation software that we've adopted in our physics program to help students conduct model-based reasoning to develop a simplified model of magnetism--the small-magnets model of magnetism. In this simplified scientific model, small magnets representing magnetic domains or atoms align along the same direction, thereby enabling the objects to be magnetic. Using this model, students can more intuitively understand the current scientific models of domain or atomic magnets.
Australian Science Teachers Association. P.O. Box 334, Deakin West, ACT 2600, Australia. Tel: +61-02-6282-9377; Fax: +61-02-6282-9477; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A