This paper describes a study of the understanding of basic electrical concepts shown by 15-17 year-old students in England, France, The Netherlands, Sweden and West Germany, the same objective test having been administered to samples of students in each of these countries. When within-country results were averaged across student groups the between-country differences on many aspects of this subject were quite small. Those electrical principles which yielded significant differences fell into two main groups, one concerned with current, flow of charge and energy, the other with voltage and its relationship to current. The consistency with which these significant differences emerged across a range of problems concerning related principles suggests that these represent real differences between the outcomes of teaching across the five countries but the causes of these differences are not yet clear. Despite the differences that have emerged, the overall impression which the results convey is of substantially the same pattern of learning difficulties across countries and the existence of an almost 'natural' coherence to these learning difficulties within cognitive structure.


  • Education > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 1
  • Grade 6
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9


Europe,Societal Issues,differences between countries,NSDL,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20061213013733553T,electricity,Education Foundations,Student Characteristics,students' understanding,International Issues,Higher Education,High School,NSDL_SetSpec_439869,History/Policy/Law,Education,Physics,Social Sciences,Graduate/Professional,Ability



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