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South African Journal of Education

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Creating a simple electric circuit with children between the ages of five and six

Vasiliki Kada, Konstantinos Ravanis

Abstract


This paper presents a study of how preschool-aged children go about creating and operating a simple electric circuit (wires, light bulb, and battery), and how they view the elements that comprise it, particularly how they view the role of the battery. The research involved 108 children aged between five and six, who were individually interviewed. The results of the study show that the children have already begun to form representations which link the battery, the light bulb and the wires to electrical functions, and that the majority of children are able, with or without help, to successfully create a simple electric circuit. Moreover, their involvement in the process of creating and operating such a circuit leads many children not only to a comprehensive viewing of the circuit, but also to the creation of a pre-energy thought-form in which the battery is acknowledged as the distribution source of an entity which is responsible for the luminescence of the light bulb.

Keywords: preschool-aged children; representations; simple electric circuit




http://dx.doi.org/10.15700/saje.v36n2a1233
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