chapter  Chapter Eleven
19 Pages

Do Teachers Consider Nonlinear Text to Be Text?

WithMark G. Gillingham, Michael F. Young, Jonna M. Kulikowich

Nonlinear text is uniquely appropriate to traverse complex webs of ill-defined and complex real-world knowledge. In this chapter, the authors explore the meaning of text from the viewpoints of teachers and text scholars by using a repertory grid analysis to tease out meanings that teachers and text experts give to various types of text. They aim to understand the various ways teachers could view nonlinear text in the context of other textual materials they might use in their environment. The authors show that teachers may not expand their notions of text unless they are willing to see information as distributed more broadly: beyond textbooks, outside their classroom, in multiple media, and including writing as well as reading. A main characteristic of nonlinear text is the “hidden” or “implied” structure that it may contain. Typical definitions of nonlinear text include phrases like “non-sequential writing”, “electronic linking”, “navigational apparatus of links and nodes”, “unstructured exploration”, and “connections”.