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This study evaluates reasoning about electric circuits in adolescents. We measured high school students' inclinations to shift among three mechanistic perspectives while solving circuit problems. Twenty-two students from the same physics class were assigned to Treatment and Control groups. Semi-structured interviews carried out before and after the teacher's electricity instruction measured changes in the Treatment group's reasoning. Four of the ten Treatment group subjects, the 'Improved Performers', increased their accuracy scores across tests, while the remainder did not. In the Treatment group's post-test, the 'Unimproved Performers' shifted among perspectives in a more disconnected, less coherent manner than the Improved Performers. Our results suggest that physics educators should recognize the importance of mechanism shifting for developing a causal understanding of electric circuits.
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