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Unexpected Situations in Elementary School Electric Circuit Lessons: an Experienced Teacher's Responses and Science Teaching Beliefs

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Shin Chaeyeon; Song, Jinwoong

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새물리, Vol.73 No.3, pp.242-255
For this qualitative study, we conducted an in-depth analysis of unexpected situations that occur in sixth-grade electric circuit lessons in a South Korean elementary school, the causes of these situations, and factors affecting the teachers responses. We performed a detailed observation of electric circuit lessons taught by an experienced teacher and carried out pre-lesson and post-lesson interviews. The causes of unexpected situations were found to be students neglect of electrical components, poor quality electrical components, images in the textbook, and real-life examples and analogies used by the teacher. The situations considered unexpected by the teacher included an electric circuit that did not light up, incorrect experimental results, and student questions regarding the teachers real-life examples. The teacher handled these unexpected situations by explaining that electrical components are consumables, giving real-life examples, providing opportunities for inquiry, and limiting textbook use. These responses originated from the teachers belief that science teaching should be student-centered and inquiry-based, and needs to emphasize the relationship between science and real-life experience. The study offers implications for science education in general and the teaching of electric circuits, which presents significant difficulties for elementary school teachers.
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