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Abstract

A wide investigation on French pupils, ranging from the start of secondary school (grade 6, 12 years old) up to the fourth year of university has enabled the effect of the teaching of conceptions of basic electricity to be evaluated. The simplest ones disappear with teaching, but other stronger ones (“exhaustion” of current, constant current generator) resist even after many years of teaching. The authors propose the hypothesis that certain misconceptions could be produced by the very way in which pupils overcome in part the first difficulties they meet, which poses a difficult problem for physics teaching.