A CONCEPTUAL MAP ABOUT ALTERNATING CURRENT CIRCUITS

E. Arribas Garde1, I. Escobar1, T. Franco2, C. Suarez3, S. Vidales Felix3, Y. Benitez4, S. Maffey2, Y. Dominguez5, J. Besanilla6, C. Garcia-Olguin6, J. Gonzalez-Rubio1, A. Najera1, A. Belendez7

1University of Castilla-La Mancha (SPAIN)
2Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN) (MEXICO)
3Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí (MEXICO)
4UNAM (MEXICO)
5Escuela Preparatoria Oficial 205 (MEXICO)
6ENESMAPO (MEXICO)
7University of Alicante (SPAIN)
Teachers are deeply concerned on how to be more effective in our task of teaching. We must organize the contents of our specific area providing them with a logical configuration, for which we must know the mental structure of the students that we have in the classroom. We must shape this mental structure, in a progressive manner, so that they can assimilate the contents that we are trying to transfer, to make the learning as meaningful as possible.

In the generative learning model, the links before the stimulus delivered by the teacher and the information stored in the mind of the learner requires an important effort by the student, who should build new conceptual meanings. That effort, which is extemely necessary for a good learning, sometimes is the missing ingredient so that the teaching-learning process can be properly assimilated.

In electrical circuits, which we know are perfectly controlled and described by Ohm's law and Kirchhoff's two rules, there are two concepts that correspond to the following physical quantities: voltage and electrical resistance. These two concepts are integrated and linked when the concept of current is presented.

This concept is not subordinated to the previous ones,it has the same degree of inclusiveness and gives rise to substantial relations between the three concepts, materializing it into a law: The Ohm, which allows us to relate and to calculate any of the three physical magnitudes, two of them known.

The alternate current, in which both the voltage and the current are reversed dozens of times per second, plays an important role in many aspects of our modern life, because it is universally used. Its main feature is that its maximun voltage is easily modifiable through the use of transformers, which greatly facilitates its transfer with very few losses.

In this paper, we present a conceptual map so that it is used as a new tool to analyze in a logical manner the underlying structure in the alternate current circuits, with the objective of providing the students from Sciences and Engineering majors with another option to try, amongst all, to achieve a significant learning of this important part of physics.