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The researcher analysed students' reasoning about simple electric circuits, and concluded that students must think in three proposed aspects for a proper understanding of the topic. This study most closely examines the third, and least understood aspect of thought as occurring in students in an advanced high school course. The researchers found that even in very simple situations, most students do not tie concepts from electrostatics into their description of the phenomena. Consequently, a consistent picture of the mechanisms is usually lacking. This may explain why students cannot conceptualize the electric circuit as a system and appreciate the functional relationships between its parts.
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