Research based teaching sequence for enhancing electrical capacitance understanding at first fist year of university

Jenaro Guisasola, José Luis Zubimendi, Ángel Franco, Mikel Ceberio
2011 Investigações em Ensino de Ciências  
In the electricity curriculum for introductory university physics courses and final secondary school courses, no provision is normally made for a teaching sequence which analyses the transition of specific charges to charged bodies, thus preventing the construction of a model able to explain the aspects connected with the process of charging a body, accumulating the charge and its relation to the potential acquired. This constituted a relevant historical problem and demanded the introduction of
more » ... a new concept, that of electrical capacitance, to solve it. The aim of the work presented here is to design and assess a teaching sequence which endeavours to overcome the difficulties in learning found in the bibliography. The structure of the sequence was established in activities following a "problematised structure" design. The problems defining the sequence appeared when a step-by-step analysis of the transfer of charges from one body to another was made, by establishing connections between the movement of charges (microscopic level). The results of implementing the sequence indicate that a considerable number of students have achieved a more satisfactory understanding of the electrical capacitance of bodies and charging processes. This seems to confirm that the aspects highlighted in the sequence are relevant to the objectives specified.
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