George Kaliampos, Vasiliki Kada, Antomi Saregar, Konstantinos Ravanis


This research paper seeks to determine 5-6 years-old pupils’ representations about the general characteristics of the elementary electricity, the electrical appliances and their reasoning about the consisting elements of a simple electrical circuit. The sample consisted of 131 children from public kindergarten classes in an urban area in Greece. Data were collected through semi-structured individual interviews. The analysis of the qualitative data showed that although the preschoolers had fruitful representations, the majority of them encountered difficulties on approaching several aspects of the phenomena. Pupils’ reasoning about the phenomena also seemed to be without a stable and coherent structure. The need for a categorization of preschoolers’ representations based on the use of a system of concrete criteria and the prospect of a didactic approach leading to the creation of a precursor model is designated.

Article visualizations:

Hit counter


pre-school pupils’ representations, electricity, early childhood science education

Full Text:



Canedo-Ibarra, S. P., Castelló-Escandell, J., García-Wehrle, P., & Morales-Blake, A. R. (2010). Precursor models construction at preschool education: an approach to improve scientific education in the classroom. Review of Science, Mathematics and ICT Education, 4(1), 41-76.

Charles, F. (2020). Pratiques enseignantes en éducation scientifique et technologique à l’école maternelle : Perspectives curriculaires. Recherches en Didactique des Sciences et des Technologies, 21, 21-44.

Christidou, V., Kazela, K., Kakana, D., & Valakosta, M. (2009). Teaching magnetic attraction to preschool children: A comparison of different approaches. International Journal of Learning, 16(2), 115-128.

Delserieys, A., Jegou, C., Boilevin, J.-M., & Ravanis, K. (2018). Precursor model and preschool science learning about shadows formation. Research in Science and Technological Education, 36(2), 147-164.

Elmalı, Ş., & Laçin Şimşek, C. (2020). Pre-School children’s opinions about the concepts of floating and sinking and the effect of in-class interactions on their opinions. Hacettepe Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi. Available at

Ergazaki, M., Zogza, V., & Grekou, A. (2009). From preschoolers' ideas about decomposition, domestic garbage fate and recycling to the objectives of a constructivist learning environment in this context. Review of Science, Mathematics and ICT Education, 3(1), 99-121.

Fleer, M. (1991). Socially constructed learning in Early Childhood Science Education. Research in Science Education, 21, 96-103.

Fragkiadaki, G., & Ravanis, K. (2015). Preschool children’s mental representations of clouds. Journal of Baltic Science Education, 14(2), 267-274.

Glauert, E. B. (2009). How young children understand electric circuits: Prediction, explanation and exploration. International Journal of Science Education, 31(8), 1025-1047.

Hadzigeorgiou, Y. (2002). A study of the development of the concept of mechanical stability in preschool children. Research in Science Education, 32, 373-391.

Jelinek, J. A. (2020). Children’s Astronomy. Shape of the earth, location of people on earth and the day/night cycle according to polish children between 5 and 8 years of age. Review of Science, Mathematics and ICT Education, 14(1), 69-87.

Kada, V., & Ravanis, K. (2016). Creating a simple electric circuit with children between the ages of five and six. South African Journal of Education, 36(2), 1-9.

Kaliampos, G., & Ravanis, K. (2019). Thermal conduction in metals: Mental representations in 5-6 years old children’s thinking. Jurnal Ilmiah Pendidikan Fisika ‘Al-BiRuNi’, 8(1), 1-9.

Kalogiannakis, Μ., Rekoumi, C., & Chatzipapas, C. (2012) Playing on the journey of sound. A teaching proposal for children in early childhood. In R. Pintó, V. López & C. Simarro (Eds), Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Computer Based Learning in Science CBLIS’2012, Learning Science in the Society of Computers (pp. 279-285). Barcelona: Centre for Research in Science and Mathematics Education.

Kambouri, M. (2011). Children’s misconceptions and the teaching of early years Science: a case study. Journal of Emergent Science, 2(2), 7-16.

Kampeza, M., & Ravanis, K. (2012). Children’s understanding of the earth’s shape: an instructional approach in early education. Skholê, 17, 115-120.

Kalogiannakis, M., & Lantzaki, A. (2012). Teaching electricity in preschool education: a dilemma under negotiation with the use of ICT. Exploring the World of Child, 11, 11-21 (in Greek).

Kalogiannakis, M., Nirgianaki, G. M., & Papadakis, S. (2018). Teaching magnetism to preschool children: Τhe effectiveness of picture story reading. Early Childhood Education Journal, 46(5), 535-546.

Koliopoulos, D., Christidou, V., Symidala, I., & Koutsoumba, M. (2009). Pre-energy reasoning in pre-school children. Review of Science, Mathematics and ICT Education, 3(1), 123-140.

Koumaras, P. (1989). An Investigation of a constructivist approach to the experimental teaching of electricity at secondary school. Unpublished Phd thesis. Physics Dept, University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Koumaras, P., Psillos, D. & Tiberghien, A. (1989). Didactical transposition and pupils learning. In P. Adey et al. (Eds.), Adolescent development and school science, Proceedings of an International Seminar (pp. 249-254). Falmer Press: London.

Lorenzo Flores, M., Sesto Varela, V., & García-Rodeja, G. I. (2018). Una propuesta didáctica para la construcción de un modelo precursor del aire en la Educación Infantil. Ápice. Revista de Educación Científica, 2(2), 55-68.

Malleus, E., Kikas, E., & Marken, T. (2017). Kindergarten and primary school children’s everyday, synthetic, and scientific concepts of clouds and rainfall. Research in Science Education, 47(3), 539-558.

Métioui, A., & Trudel, L. (2020). Conceptions about electrical circuits of english and french pupils from nova scotia in canada: english and french conceptions on electric circuits. Edu Review. International Education and Learning Review, 8(2), 73-82.

Métioui, A., & Baulu-Mac Willie, M., Trudel, L. (2016). Conceptions of pupils of the primary on the topic of an electric circuit in three countries (Canada, France and Morocco). European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 4(4), 469‐476.

Miscevic Kadijevic, G. (2017). Mental representations of preschool children about different animals. Journal of Baltic Science Education, 16(4), 500-509.

Ouasri, A., & Ravanis, K. (2020). Apprentissage des élèves de collège marocain du concept d’ion en lien avec la trame conceptuelle (atome, molécule, électron, charge). European Journal of Alternative Education Studies, 5(1), 71-94.

Pantidos, P., Herakleioti, E., & Chachlioutaki, M. E. (2017). Reanalysing children’s responses on shadow formation: A comparative approach to bodily expressions and verbal discourse. International Journal of Science Education, 39(18), 2508–2527.

Ravanis, K. (1996). Stratégies d’interventions didactiques pour l’initiation des enfants de l’école maternelle en sciences physiques. Revue de Recherches en Éducation: Spirale, 17, 161-176.

Ravanis, K. (2010). Représentations, Modèles Précurseurs, Objectifs-Obstacles et Médiation-Tutelle : concepts-clés pour la construction des connaissances du monde physique à l’âge de 5-7 ans. Revista Electrónica de Investigación en Educación en Ciencias, 5(2), 1-11.

Ravanis, K. (2017). Early Childhood Science Education: state of the art and perspectives. Journal of Baltic Science Education, 16(3), 284-288.

Ravanis, K. (2020). Precursor models of the Physical Sciences in Early Childhood Education students’ thinking. Science Education Research and Praxis, 76, 24-31.

Shipstone, D. M. (1984). A study of children’s understanding of electricity in simple DC circuits. European Journal of Science Education, 6, 185-198.

Skopeliti, I., Thanopoulou, K., & Tsagareli, M. (2018). Preschool students’ understanding of astronomical objects and solar system and their categorizations of the Earth. In International Conference on Educational Research “Confronting Contemporary Educational Challenges Through Research (pp. 536-544). Patras, Greece: University of Patras.

Solomonidou, C., & Kakana, D.-M. (2000) Preschool children's conceptions about the electric current and the functioning of electric appliances. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 8(1), 95-111.

Theodoraki, X., & Plakitsi, K. (2013). Analyzing activities in the course of Science Education, according to Activity Theory. The case of sound. US-China Education Review A, 3(6), 353-364.

Trundle, K. C. (2010). Teaching science during the early childhood years. Best practices and research base. National Geographic learning. Retrieved from

Vidal Carula, C., & Adbo, K. (2020). A study of preschool children’s motive orientation during science activities. Review of Science, Mathematics and ICT Education, 14(1), 47-67.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 George Kaliampos, Vasiliki Kada, Antomi Saregar, Konstantinos Ravanis

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2015-2023. European Journal of Education Studies (ISSN 2501 - 1111) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).