Based on the theory of self-determination by Decy & Ryan, the main idea is that pupils develop their own questions and solve them autonomously. This includes devising own criteria to answer the guiding question, coming up with own experiments as well as estimating the time needed. The pupils should follow the criteria during their studies and also evaluate them accordingly. Another important aspect is that there are no wrong questions or answers, as long as they are on topic.
The answers to the guiding question will vary from pupil to pupil, depending on their criteria. Therefore, the aim of the final discussion should be to find a reasonable compromise between every group, which could be an agreement on a mix of energy sources.
The unit is supposed to be done in the form of project work with small group sizes of 3-4 pupils. If the method of guided inquiry is used, particular stations with relevant activities can be prepared beforehand.

Possible criteria:

  • quantity of energy produced
  • efficiency of energy conversion
  • cost-benefit approach
  • environmental sustainability

Possible misconceptions:

  • the difference between current and voltage
  • the difference between heat and thermal energy
  • polarity in electric circuits
  • how photovoltaic modules generate electricity (e.g. thermal)