In introductory electric circuits in middle school, students often carry strongly held alternative conceptions. Common to many of these is an idea of electric current as some kind of substance that originates from the battery and moves toward electronic components. Learners often argue that current influences those one by one as they are encountered (sequential reasoning), splits into equal parts at junctions independently of resistances (local reasoning), or moves toward a component from both connectors of the battery, only affecting the components if a “positive current” and a “negative current” meet there (clashing currents). Also, these learners might argue that the battery always delivers the same amount of electric current or that current is used up in, e.g., a light bulb.

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