Thursday, October 13th, 2005
Without cutting to deeply into definitions, let’s stiupulate that hypertextuality is about making connections, linking one thing to another thing. How can be left to the creative problem solver.
Let’s also stipulate that good teaching is at heart a creative act. Good teaching is about creating the opportunity for learning to happen. Lot’s of people can learn how to work with layers in Photoshop. Lots of people can learn how to create a link from one space to another in Storyspace. I submit that how and what to link can’t be taught, but it can be learned. It may be a good thing to provide examples of excellence with Photoshop and Storyspace; but what I can’t do is teach a person what to do with those examples in terms of their own decision making. Provide a poet with Donne’s Valediction Forbidding Mourning and the poet will have experienced an example. But I can’t teach someone to write a poem with similar aesthetic and technical virtuosity. They have to do that themselves. What I can do is provide an environment for a peoson to work through their own decisions. The teacher, whatever teacher, cannot “think for” another person. The boss can’t write the program for the programmer; nor can the boss solve the problem that got things started in the first place. That’s the programmer’s job.