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Book: Understanding and Interaction in Clinical and Educational Settings

Chapter: Grey Boxes

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.32326


A brief overview of Part Two.
Part Two examines the ways that people often develop placeholders for missing information – referred to here as grey boxes – in order to produce process narratives. The professional cultures of teachers and clinicians feature routine communication patterns that often restrict access to pieces of information needed to create coherent, recallable process narratives. Grey boxes connect the pieces of information that suggest, but do not clearly depict a relationship. They take various forms, such as pointing or gesturing at objects or graphics, using linguistic terms that have vague meanings, or using tables that replace missing scientific information with computations of probable out- comes. Grey boxes reduce the interpretive contingencies of seeking missing information. Part Two explains grey boxes and their relationship to the interpretation activities and information resources of genetics learning activities. Although grey boxes help people to interact and complete tasks in a specific setting, they can hinder the transfer of knowledge between settings, because they are linked to the environment in which they were formed.

Chapter Contributors

  • Barry Saferstein ([email protected] - bsaferstein) 'California State University San Marcos'