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Thinking and Linking: Teaching with Hypertext Melody Anderson Brendan Holloway Alex McAdams Alex Mueller UMass Boston English Department.

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Presentation on theme: "Thinking and Linking: Teaching with Hypertext Melody Anderson Brendan Holloway Alex McAdams Alex Mueller UMass Boston English Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 Thinking and Linking: Teaching with Hypertext Melody Anderson Brendan Holloway Alex McAdams Alex Mueller UMass Boston English Department

2 Hypertext Revolutionary or Restrictive?

3 Revolutionary Hypertext The capability of banking education to minimize or annul the students' creative power and to stimulate their credulity serves the interests of the oppressors, who care neither to have the world revealed nor to see it transformed. The oppressors use their “humanitarianism” to preserve a profitable situation. Thus they react almost instinctively against any experiment in education which stimulates the critical faculties and is not content with a partial view of reality but always seeks out the ties which link one point to another and one problem to another. ---Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 54-5.

4 Revolutionary Hypertext The purpose of computers is human freedom, and so the purpose of hypertext is overview and understanding. ---Theodor Nelson, Computer Lib/Dream Machines.

5 Revolutionary Hypertext There is nothing in an electronic book that quite corresponds to the printed table of contents... In this sense, the electronic book reflects a different natural world, in which relationships are multiple and evolving: there is no great chain of being in an electronic world- book. For that very reason, an electronic book is a better analogy for contemporary views of nature, since nature today is often not regarded as a hierarchy, but rather as a network of interdependent species and systems. ---Jay David Bolter, Writing Space: The Computer, Hypertext, and the History of Writing, 105.

6 Restrictive Hypertext Hypertext isn't really interactive, they argue; it only gives the illusion of reader involvement – and certainly only the illusion that the hierarchy of the author and reader had been leveled: clicking, they insist, is not the same as writing. ---Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy, 98.

7 Restrictive Hypertext It follows logically from the banking notion of consciousness that the educator’s role is to regulate the way the world “enters into” the students. ---Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 57.

8 Restrictive Hypertext Contrary to Nelson’s idealistic claim [that “the purpose of computers is freedom”], the purpose of computers is power, and hypertext is as much involved in that struggle for power as anything else. ---Espen Aarseth, Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature, 82.

9 Hypertext as a “Means of Making Meaning” Liberation pedagogy promotes students’ critical consciousness in order for them to make connections with new information in a way that is creative and authentic.

10 Dialectic: the “mutual dependence of language and thought, all the ways in which a word finds a thought and a thought, a word.” It’s a name for the “conversation [we] have with [our]selves” when faced with something new. ---Ann Berthoff, Forming/Thinking/Writing, 23. Hypertext as a “Means of Making Meaning”

11 “…the interpretive meaning of an electronic text is embodied in the ramifying structure of its connections. In the computer we can see…that a text is never anything more than a structure of relations. By changing the relations, as we do when we make or break connections, we change the meaning of the text.” ---Jay David Bolter, Writing Space: The Computer, Hypertext, and the History of Writing, 607. Hypertext as a “Means of Making Meaning”

12 A Freirean-inspired hypertext can invite students to pay attention to their inner dialogue, and to become active participants in their learning experience. Hypertext as a “Means of Making Meaning”

13 From Hypertext Critique to Hypertext Composition Whereas banking education anesthetizes and inhibits creative power, problem- posing education involves a constant unveiling of reality. The former attempts to maintain the submersion of consciousness; the latter strives for the emergence of consciousness and critical intervention in reality. ---Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 62.

14 From Hypertext Critique to Hypertext Composition... what performs critique cannot also compose. ---Bruno Latour, “An Attempt at a ‘Compositionist Manifesto,’” 475.

15 From Hypertext Critique to Hypertext Composition With a hammer (or a sledge hammer) in hand you can do a lot of things: break down walls, destroy idols, ridicule prejudices, but you cannot repair, take care, assemble, reassemble, stitch together. It is no more possible to compose with the paraphernalia of critique than it is to cook with a seesaw. Its limitations are greater still, for the hammer of critique can only prevail if, behind the slowly dismantled wall of appearances, is finally revealed the netherworld of reality. But when there is nothing real to be seen behind this destroyed wall, critique suddenly looks like another call to nihilism. What is the use of poking holes in delusions, if nothing more true is revealed underneath? ---Bruno Latour, “An Attempt at a ‘Compositionist Manifesto,’” 475.


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