16 SES 11, ICT and Learning Communities
In the 21st century there is a high demand for “ingenuity”, for good and powerful ideas that are needed to tackle the complex and inter-related societal-economic and environmental problems that are unprecedented in history (Homer-Dixon, 2006; Feinstein, Vorhaus, & Sabates, 2008). Conventional schooling centring on efficient and effective transmission and reception of existing knowledge will no longer be adequate in preparing our young people to tackle these so called “wicked” problems (Rieckmann, 2012) in the knowledge society. New pedagogical practices and learning opportunities should be designed and implemented to increase and democratise the innovative capacity of the young people. The Knowledge Building Communities model, developed by Scardamalia and Bereiter (2006), has shown that by immersing in knowledge building communities, students can develop the competencies and cultural practices which are needed in the knowledge society (e.g. Bielaczyc & Ow, 2010; Fong, 2010; Oshima, et al., 2006; Zhang, Scardamalia, Lamo, Messina, & Reeve, 2007). This model, based on 12 pedagogical principles, utilisesa Web-based networking software system (called Knowledge Forum) to engage students in online discourse to develop, reformulate, critique and build on ideas on authentic questions to advance personal understanding and communal knowledge. While the Knowledge Building communities model has been researched extensively at the primary school level, it is not clear how it can be effectively implemented and integrated in the senior secondary school curriculum to meet the requirements of external assessment standards. Also, with the recent increase of teaching and learning at a distance, it is not clear how this model can be implemented effectively in distance classes.
A two-year project was conducted in 16 New Zealand senior secondary classes using the Knowledge Building Communities model in 2012-2013. This paper will report strategies used to develop knowledge building communities to meet formative and summative assessment requirements, and discuss the roles of the students and teachers in the knowledge building process, using data gathered from seven (four on-site, three distance) senior secondary classes (Years 11-13) in the second year of the project.
References Bielaczyc, K. & Ow, J. (June 2010). Making knowledge building moves: toward cultivating Knowledge Building communities in classrooms. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Vol 1. Retrieved from http://portal.acm.org/. Fong, C. (April 2010) Middle and secondary school teachers’ and students journey of constructive knowledge building with KF Source: Wiki. Retreived from http://tmcanada.pbworks.com/w/page/26268862/TM-Canada-Papers. Feinstein, L., Vorhaus, J. & Sabates, R. (2008). Learning through life: Future challenges. London: The Government Office for Science. Homer-Dixon, T. (2000). The ingenuity gap: Facing the economic, environmental, and other challenges of an increasingly complex and unpredictable world. New York: Kbopf. Oshima, J., Oshima, R., Murayama, I., Inagaki, S., Takenaka, M., Yamamoto, E., & Nakayama, H. (2006). Knowledge-building activity structures in Japanese elementary science pedagogy. Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 1, 229–246. Rieckmann, M. (2012). Future-oriented higher education: Which key competencies should be fostered through university teaching and learning? Futures, 44(2), 127-135. Scardamalia, M. & Bereiter, C. (2006). Knowledge building: Theory, pedagogy, and technology. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 97-118). New York: Cambridge University Press. Zhang, J., Scardamalia, M., Lamon, M., Messina,R., & Reeve R. (2007). Socio-cognitive dynamics of knowledge building in the work of 9 and 10 year olds. Educational Technology Research and Development, 55,117–145.
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