Understanding and Interaction in Clinical and Educational Settings - Barry Saferstein

Understanding and Interaction in Clinical and Educational Settings - Barry Saferstein

7. Grey Boxes in the Production of Process Narratives--A Case of Creating a Grey Box

Understanding and Interaction in Clinical and Educational Settings - Barry Saferstein

Barry Saferstein [+-]
California State University, San Marcos
Professor Barry Saferstein is a cognitive sociologist whose research interests include the effects of multimedia health information technology on clinical interaction; explanations and understandings of genetics and medical information in schools, science centres, and clinics; the application of digital technologies to qualitative research methods; and the construction of ideology through mediated and face-to-face interaction. His recent work examines how professional authority affects the development of understandings. He has also published studies of agenda setting activities and the interactional construction of ideology in television production settings.

Description

Chapter Seven examines grey boxes in regard to interpretive ambiguity, the effect of a critical mass of interpretive contingencies, forms of expression as resources for understanding, and localized aspects of grey boxes. Expanding on an example introduced earlier, the chapter examines four students and a teacher discussing a learning task featuring the use of a trait inheritance computer simulation. A result of the 10.5-minute discussion is the students’ acceptance of the term, ‘blueprints’, as a placeholder for missing information about the cellular genetic processes. ‘Blueprints’ eliminates the interpretive contingencies related to finding and coherently linking missing information about the biochemical functioning of genes that affects the development of traits. The grey box helps the students develop a useful process narrative. As a consequence of the conventional Mendelian curriculum, students and teachers spend much time and effort constructing a framework to cover the explanatory gap created by the absence of information about cellular biochemical processes. Students’ awareness of contemporary genetic terms and concepts adds contingencies to their interpretation activities. When students repeatedly confront the information gap separating genes and traits during learning activities, they develop grey boxes that alleviate their disbelief or confusion. Grey boxes ease the cognitive load of interpreting and remembering multiple contingencies.

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Citation

Saferstein, Barry . 7. Grey Boxes in the Production of Process Narratives--A Case of Creating a Grey Box. Understanding and Interaction in Clinical and Educational Settings. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 143-181 Nov 2016. ISBN 9781845534363. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=27839. Date accessed: 19 Oct 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.27839. Nov 2016

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