Research in Science Education

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 575–587 | Cite as

A Perspective on the Resolution of Confusions in the Teaching of Electricity

  • Pamela Mulhall
  • Brian McKittrick
  • Richard Gunstone


Physics continues to be widely regarded by students as difficult and therefore unattractive. Electricity is a particular problem, as it involves extremely complex and highly abstract concepts and is thus totally dependent on models/analogies/metaphors. Research consistently shows very poor student understanding after the teaching of electricity. We consider this research and draw two broad conclusions of central relevance to the teaching of electricity (which are both also argued to be significant contributors to student learning difficulties): there is an absence of any systemic consensus about what models etc. are appropriate for students at different year levels and for different intended learning outcomes; there is no consensus about appropriate learning outcomes for electricity at different levels.


Student Learning Education Research Learning Outcome Abstract Concept Significant Contributor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pamela Mulhall
    • 1
  • Brian McKittrick
    • 1
  • Richard Gunstone
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationMonash UniversityCanada

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