The whole of this book is, in itself, a plead for documentation and its importance. We believe in documentation as a way to be clear, be able to meet other people, inspire each other and create new knowledge. It does not matter if the documentation is in speech, writing or image, but it shall have a clarity that will make it possible for one person to give the documentationto another without creating a lot of misunderstandings.

One monkey will not see, the other will not listen, and the third will not say anything, - that way it has not told us anything.

In the picture above the anti- documentation monkey does not want to tell us anything. We want to remove the hands from its mouth. We believe that you have to see, hear, and speak out- otherwise you will not be able to move on, neither inside yourself nor outside in the world.

"In order to"

The crux of the matter in documentation is to be aware of its purpose, its "in order to". Documentation can be a negative experience for a persons integrity, and it has, in those contexts we talk about here, often been criticised from that point of view. According to our opinion the present lack ofdocumentation prevails the emergence of the only integrity worth protecting, that is, the personal integrity. Let us take a close look at the documentation front, its "in order to".

First something generally about a teleological (purpose) approach versus a mechanistic (cause) one. If a little child, in old Greece, asked "Why is there an acorn here?", the answer would have been:" There is an acorn here because an oak is supposed to grow up". The Greeks had a teleological model for explanations. If you, on the other hand, are out today with a little kid and he asks the same question, you will answer: "My dear little friend, look up! There is an oak here. It is the oak who has dropped the acorn." In our mechanistic way of thinking cause has to come before effect.

It is not wrong to say that the acorn is where it is because it is supposed to grow up to be an oak, or to say that it is where it is because the oak has dropped it. But the mind is completely diverted by the two models. If the acorn is there because it is supposed to grow up, then it does matter what I do. If it, on the contrary, is there just because the oak has happen to drop it- then the race is already run.

But consider if we can reach knowledge by looking for purpose, not only causes? Consider if we in that way became more "economically-minded"? There are thoughts which are good to think with, good to see with, good to listen with, good to work with. Maybe new groups of people can be recruited to a special scool or day-care center where clear "in order to"-signatures complement the activity's cause-signature ("because our pupils have special needs, we are supposed to do like this").

Small is beautiful. But not too small.

The significance of pictures and examples

Use pictures and examples when you make documentation. One good example says more than a thousand words. It can be about the events you have succeeded to depict, concrete and free from valuations. It can also be about examples you invent for exemplifying a line of thought. A picture also says more than a thousand words. That stands for concrete pictures as well as images and analogies. Compare for example the picture on page 22 and the text below!

The social, economic, and political significance of the biological sciences to our world today suggeststhat it should play a central role in a liberal education. Yet, at colleges and universities across thecountry, students and faculty alike are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with "Introductory Biology"courses as they are presently taught. Too often such courses are simply taken as a hurdle that must becrossed to gain access to upper-level courses, or as a requirement for entrance to professional school.Many reasons could be cited for the difficulties facing introductory biology courses (and introductorycourses in general), but three are especially apparent.The first problem is that an explosion of information makes it more difficult than ever to providestudents with an overview of biology that is at the same time accessible, useful, and an accuraterepresentation of the state of the art; it simply is no longer possible to provide an encyclopedic overviewof biology in a single course. A common solution to this problem is to subdivide introductory biologyinto two or more conceptually-independent units. At Duke, for example, one semester of the presentintroductory sequence covers "organismal and environmental biology," while the other semester covers"cellular and developmental biology." An unfortunate consequence of this approach, however, is the lossof a unifying perspective on the subject as a whole. A second, related problem is to find faculty willingto teach across a broad spectrum of the discipline. A common solution here is the use of team-teaching.At Duke, as at many comparable institutions, we now have many lecturers (up to ten each year)involved with the introductory course, each responsible for only one compartmentalized section ofmaterial. Differences in style and lack of coordination, however, further erodes conceptual cohesivenessand confuses students who are struggling to find a "big picture." A third problem, perhaps the mostdifficult we face, is burgeoning enrollments. As class sizes grow into the hundreds, it becomesincreasingly difficult to introduce classroom innovations, or even to imagine reworking a curriculum in ameaningful way. These problems have led the Botany and Zoology departments, working closely withthe CTL, to try a new approach to teaching introductory biology at Duke. We hope to achieve severalobjectives. The first, of course, is to present biology as an intellectually cohesive discipline and to givestudents a better understanding of the significance of modern biology as one facet of an integrated liberaleducation. We hope to endow students with an appreciation of how new information is acquired andinterpreted, as well as an understanding that knowledge constantly evolves. Secondly, we want to createa "small-group" learning environment embedded in the context of the course as a whole, to takeadvantage of the many pedagogical techniques that may be introduced in this context, such as anemphasis on writing. Lastly, we want the introductory biology course to serve as a model trainingground for new teachers. This will not only provide our graduate students with a better way to honetheir teaching skills, but it also will take advantage of the considerable talent and energy they alreadypossess to help the course achieve its other goals.A central feature of our new approach really is an old idea -- having a single professor responsible forpresenting the entire course to students, to ensure continuity and intellectual coherency. But thisapproach carries with it a number of serious burdens, and it is here where the active involvement of theCTL will help us move the project forward. For example, one fundamental issue is to decide on arepresentative curriculum. What topics must be included, and why? What can be presented withsupplemental materials? What can be left out entirely? If asked to come up with a syllabus, any tenbiologists most likely would come up with as many answers. What is considered to be "IntroductoryBiology" is not codified, and perhaps never will be. The CTL will serve as a "think tank," coordinatingthe exchange of information and ideas among many faculty, both from Duke and elsewhere, who canand should contribute to the intellectual framework of the new course. Beyond content, the CTL alsowill play a central role in helping us to develop and implement new methods to be brought to the class --such as interactive computer learning tools and the use of other online media -- that will enable us toprovide a more integrated curriculum than would be possible through the traditional use of lecturesalone.Another major feature of our proposal is to substantially rework the role of graduate teaching assistantsin the introductory course. To this end, the structure and function of the laboratory portion of the coursewill be radically changed. We will limit the size of laboratory sections to 12 students and have eachsection taught by a single TA. More significantly, we will reduce the length of laboratory periods fromthree and a half to two hours, and introduce a separate one-hour "seminar" session each week. Theseminar/laboratory meetings will provide the basis for a small-group learning experience embedded in thestructure of the larger course and provide an excellent opportunity for enhancing the training of graduatestudents as teachers. Accompanying these changes, however, will be the need for added support forTAs in the course. Here, too, we will work closely with the CTL to develop a customized skills programfor TAs working in the introductory biology course, one that is interleaved with the TAs' teaching andpreparatory time throughout the semester.This is a propitious time to revise the introductory biology program at Duke. Our problems are muchlike those felt at similar institutions throughout the country, and they occur at a time when scientists arerethinking their approaches to education in general. Students and their parents are becoming choosyconsumers, aware of the cost of higher education and interested in the quality of their investment.Perhaps the most important element is Duke's willingness to invest resources, such as those madeavailable by the CTL, to support new teaching initiatives for the future. (I will not take any responsability what so ever, about the text above. I found this text by accident on internet, and I haven´t even read it through… /Björn Gröhn )

Exactly one thousand words - look how little they say compared to a picture.


Made- up fantasy examples can be effective to challenge already existing blinkers and prejudice:


The hypotheses maybe seems a bit odd, but it is very likely that a lot of differently abled people feels just like that with our ordinary watches.They can learn how the hands shall point when it is seven o'clock and they are on there way to play bowling.

At the time-bar to the left one lamp at a time disappears as times goes by. When all lamps are out an hour has gone. At the Isaac-screen "now" is always at the top. You can see an arbitrary couple of hours in front of you. Every hour can be marked with numbers for those who understand numbers, and symbols for those who understand symbols.

But since they cannot understand the "watch-system" they can sit from five o'clock and look at the hands just to be sure to discover when the right configuration appears.

The blueclock example serves according to our experience an important function: it starts peoples thoughts, it inspires, it makes you observant on other aspects in your daily-life. It can, for example, happen that you start to work in a more active way with different kinds of "time-facilities" for those who do not understand our watches.

But is it worth it?

Very often you will hear that it is no use to make documentation - you can still not interpret the connections. It happens that the documented reality looks like the 39 theses below about Per. Are all 39 theses equally important? Are there any connections between them ? Are there any superior and secondary problems?Where will you start? The only result of documentation from top to bottom might be that you visualise for yourself and to others how incompetent you are. That you do not understand anything.

The very enumeration shows something very central: that you as a caretaker have to practise your proficiency. You have to discover that Per has the migraine even when he does not tell you. You must be able to meet Per when he is violent. To know how to do this demands something extra.

To the proficiencies ought to belong knowledge about how to invent such a technique you can use as a support.

1. Do you think a board like that one on page 33 can help Per?

The board contains different lines, which you can put pictures on. When you press a line, a voice says for example "bicycle" or " I want to go out and cycle".

2. Do you think the voice should be known or unknown to suit Per?

3. What do you think will happen if there already from the beginning exists two squares, one that says "DON'T WANT TO" and the other, which you can use if the personnel is nagging, says "I ABSOLUTELY DON'T WANT TO"?

4. Or maybe you think that Per should not have the opportunity to try the board at all?

It is most likely possible to develop a proficiency that makes it possible to answer the questions above from qualified considerations. This is important, because if you start completely wrong with Per, you have from the beginning taken away the possibility that could have been available.

The list with the 39 points has brought us quite far since we have been trying to use it for something. If we only had had it for looking at we would probably not get anything out of it. It is just like picking morels: those who know where the morels usually are can be successful. But those who look for fungi in general will easily miss the morels.

Documentation in pictures with assistance from the Isaac pocketcomputer

To have your story documented

All human beings need to have their story documented and made visible. Also when documentation is made afterwards, it can start special processes. Stig Nilsson, one of the Isaac- users, is doing a photo-documentation together with Göran Plato (see also the chapter future and history). This is how it looked like when Stig returned to one of the places where he had lived. A lot happens within Stig when he returns to old places. He shows this, among other things, byholding the hands the way he does in the last picture on page 35.

Pictures on the very same Stig have to conclude this chapter. Stig has always been interested in documentation. " In his wish to write down what he has experienced, so he can mediate his experiences from environment to environment, he illustrates his need for continuity", writes Dr Ingrid Liljeroth in her book " The mentally retarded and the the care of differently abled people". The pictures above are taken from that book.

Can the message of this chapter be expressed in a better way than Stig does when he fights to get text on paper, to get pictures, to get documentation? Events are made real to him, they are preserved and mediated through documentation. This is probably the case with us too. Even if we aren't differently abled as Stig is.

The key-words and key-messages of the chapter

To develop and be developed you ought to practise in documentation; to see, to listen and to tell.

Experiences are individual thoughts can be shared.

Example-silence, lack of theories, and documentation-emptiness often stick together.

Pictures and examples are valuable in documentation, the concrete one as well as the invented ones. A documentation of an event ought to be done as free from evaluations and concrete as possible.

Documentation can make knowledge visible and, among other things, show how you, yourself are thinking (how am I supposed to know what I think, before I have seen what I have written/heard what I have said?).

Documentation can lead to the fact that needs and thoughts are made more visible through a whole series, that is you see connections that earlier were invisible. Reasons to different attitudes can appear. You can reach common ground outwards as well as inwards.

Documentation can give the interplay of theory and experience that is needed for a development of activity.

Today stimulation to make documentation is missing in the care of differently abled people. At the same time there are a lot of actual obstacles to documentation, for example unaccustomedness, lack of education and guidance. Furthermore there is a remaining ideological resistance from a time when documentation was equal to dictatorial case-book notes about problems. You have to see the purpose with communication, its "in order to", if it shall have the possibility to compete with other assignments.

Next chapter: Relieving examples , or back to Table of Contents.