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written by Lauren Barth-Cohen
The movement of sand dunes in the desert is an emergent process; the overall movement of a dune is influenced both by the random interactions among individual sand particles and by the process of wind adding and subtracting sand. People often misconstrued emergent processes as deterministic processes containing central causality. I present a case study of how one person, an adult, who was not an expert in physics, articulated and refined her explanation of the movement of sand dunes. She began with centralized causality but ended with an explanation containing the cogent emergent ideas. This case study is noteworthy in exemplifying the dynamic process of generating an explanation. The interviewee went through four different explanations at three different levels (macro, micro and mid-level) and concluded with an explanation that simultaneously addressed the movement of sand dunes at all three levels.
Physics Education Research Conference 2010
Part of the PER Conference series
Portland, Oregon: July 21-22, 2010
Volume 1289, Pages 77-80
Subjects ADS Supplements Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Alternative Conceptions
Fluid Mechanics
- Dynamics of Fluids
- Reference Material
= Report
= Research study
PER-Central Type Levels Ratings
- PER Literature
- Informal Education
- Professional Development
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Intended Users:
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Educator
Formats:
application/pdf
non-digital
Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3515253
Access Rights:
Limited free access and
Available for purchase
A preprint of the work is available. A hard copy of the PERC 2010 proceedings is available for purchase from the AIP.
Restriction:
© 2010 American Institute of Physics
DOI:
10.1063/1.3515253
PACS:
01.40.Fk
Keywords:
PERC 2010, clinical interview, complexity, explanation, fluid dynamics
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created October 8, 2010 by Alea Smith
Record Updated:
May 1, 2013 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 24, 2010
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Record Link
AIP Format
L. Barth-Cohen, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2010, Portland, Oregon, 2010, WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10389&DocID=1861).
AJP/PRST-PER
L. Barth-Cohen, Generating Explanations for an Emergent Process: The Movement of Sand Dunes, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2010, Portland, Oregon, 2010, <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10389&DocID=1861>.
APA Format
Barth-Cohen, L. (2010, July 21-22). Generating Explanations for an Emergent Process: The Movement of Sand Dunes. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2010, Portland, Oregon. Retrieved September 20, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10389&DocID=1861
Chicago Format
Barth-Cohen, Lauren. "Generating Explanations for an Emergent Process: The Movement of Sand Dunes." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2010, Portland, Oregon, July 21-22, 2010. http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10389&DocID=1861 (accessed 20 September 2014).
MLA Format
Barth-Cohen, Lauren. "Generating Explanations for an Emergent Process: The Movement of Sand Dunes." Physics Education Research Conference 2010. Portland, Oregon: 2010. 77-80 Vol. 1289 of PER Conference. 20 Sep. 2014 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10389&DocID=1861>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Lauren Barth-Cohen", Title = {Generating Explanations for an Emergent Process: The Movement of Sand Dunes}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2010}, Pages = {77-80}, Address = {Portland, Oregon}, Series = {PER Conference}, Volume = {1289}, Month = {July 21-22}, Year = {2010} }
Refer Export Format

%A Lauren Barth-Cohen
%T Generating Explanations for an Emergent Process: The Movement of Sand Dunes
%S PER Conference
%V 1289
%D July 21-22 2010
%P 77-80
%C Portland, Oregon
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10389&DocID=1861
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2010
%O July 21-22
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Barth-Cohen, Lauren
%D July 21-22 2010
%T Generating Explanations for an Emergent Process: The Movement of Sand Dunes
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2010
%C Portland, Oregon
%V 1289
%P 77-80
%S PER Conference
%8 July 21-22
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10389&DocID=1861


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