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ERIC Number: ED560970
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jun
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
Designing Knowledge Building Communities in Secondary Schools
Lai, Kwok-Wing
Teaching and Learning Research Initiative
In 2012-2013, sixteen senior secondary classes participated in this study, with eight of them being distance classes. Approximately 220 Year 11-13 students and 8 teachers took part in this study. This project aimed at designing and evaluating a computer-supported knowledge building community in senior secondary classes. Researchers sought to learn: (1) the roles of teachers and the strategies they used to support students' advancement of knowledge; (2) the effects of the knowledge building community on the change of students' domain knowledge, collaborative learning skills, skills of learning how to learn, and dispositions as a lifelong knowledge builder; and (3) how to develop a knowledge building culture in secondary schools. Information and communication technology has the potential to support students to acquire the metacognitive, problem solving, collaborative, and learning how to learn skills that are required to work with and create knowledge in the knowledge society. One of the very few of the technology-supported learning environments that is based on a well-designed pedagogical model is knowledge building communities. The goal of knowledge building is "the production and continual improvement of ideas of value to a community" (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2003) and is based on the premise that all students can create authentic knowledge work and advance communal knowledge in their classes, similar to what research and science communities do. In a knowledge building community, students use Knowledge Forum, a Web-based networking software system designed to support knowledge building discussions with a set of scaffolding tools. Knowledge building communities have been systematically researched internationally and have demonstrated success in enhancing students' knowledge building competency. New Zealand is shifting from an industrial society to a knowledge society, and there is an urgent need to develop young people's competency to work creatively and innovatively with knowledge. This research has generated evidence of how this could be effectively done in secondary schools. The following is appended: The 12 principles of the Knowledge Building Communities mode. [This report was written with the assistance of Ann Trewern, Ken Pullar, Conor Bolton, Madeline Campbell, Tamara Yuill Proctor, Darren Sudlow, and Tony Zaolum.]
Teaching and Learning Research Initiative. Available from: New Zealand Council for Educational Research. P.O. Box 3237, Wellington 6140 New Zealand. Tel: +64-4384-7939; Fax: +64-4384-7933; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (New Zealand)
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand