The Coulomb Train Model (CTM) is a helpful model for both explaining and predicting the behaviour of real electric circuits which I think is useful for KS3 and KS4 students.
Without further ado, here is a a summary.
The ‘Parallel First’ Heresy
I advocate teaching parallel circuits before teaching series circuits. This, I must confess, sometimes makes me feel like Captain Rum from Blackadder Two:
The main reason for this is that parallel circuits are conceptually easier to analyse than series circuits because you can do so using a relatively naive notion of ‘flow’ and gives students an opportunity to explore and apply the recently-introduced concept of ‘flow of charge’ in a straightforward context.
Redish and Kuo (2015: 584) argue that ‘flow’ is an example of embodiedcognition in…
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