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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds You’ve already looked at the hinge-point question about circuits and thought about how it would work in practise. But it’s also the case that the same idea could be approached in discussion. You could show the learners the diagram and ask, what does closing the switch do to this circuit? One student might say that you’ve completed the circuit. And another might add this allows electricity to flow. So they’d understand that the bulbs would light. The teacher might then ask, “so when the switch is open, what would we see then?” Many students would not recognise that bulb one is in a complete circuit whether the switch is open or closed and have just learnt superficially that closing switches completes a circuit.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds In this approach, you need two questions to probe the understanding properly. Whereas with a hinge-point question, you only needed the one. So you’ll see that both of these approaches provide ways of probing understanding and provide evidence for you as a teacher to decide how to shape and explain how circuits work.

Feedback from Chris

In this video Chris explains how a discussion-based approach could also have been used to elicit evidence about students’ understanding of circuits.

The key point here, and in the previous photosynthesis example, is that you have got options as to which approach you take - as Dylan also emphasised in his introduction to the week.

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