Knowledge Building in Senior Kindergarten and Grade 1


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This is a presentation in a CSCL2011 Symposium: Getting Started and Sustaining Knowledge Building. It introduces how to get knowledge building started in kindergarten and grade one classes.

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Knowledge Building in Senior Kindergarten and Grade 1

  1. 1. + Getting Started and Sustaining Knowledge Building CSCL 2011, July 4-8, Hong Kong, China
  2. 2. + Presenters:  Knowledge Building in Senior Kindergarten and Grade 1 Maria Chuy, Christian Tarchi, Monica Resendes & Bodong Chen  Challenges and strategies for effective Knowledge Building in g g g g elementary school: Principals’ perspective Elizabeth Morley & Richard Messina  Designing a Knowledge Building curriculum Katerine Bielaczyc & Teachers from Townsville Primary School, Singapore g p  Knowledge Building International: Open Educational Courses, Innovation, and Resources Marlene Scardamalia, Carl Bereiter, Monica Resendes & Stian Haklev  Discussion by Jianwei Zhang
  3. 3. + Knowledge Building in Senior Kindergarten and Grade 1 Maria Chuy, Christian Tarchi, Monica Resendes & Bodong Chen Institute for Knowledge Innovation and Technology, OISE/University of Toronto, Canada
  4. 4. + Knowledge Building and Knowledge Age Knowledge B ildi pedagogy (S d K l d Building d (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1996; li B it 1996 2003) offers a Knowledge Age framework for education by supporting students’ capacity for innovation. Instead of simply learning about science, history, literature, etc., students engage ideas as scientists, historians, writers, and so forth forth. They work in a community, building on each other’s knowledge, exploring and refining each other s theories, and other’s engaging in the progressive improvement of their ideas. This knowledge work is supported by Knowledge Forum ( (Scardamalia, 2004). , ) Teachers who are eager to explore KB pedagogy and KF technology in their classrooms may not know where to begin…
  5. 5. + How and when do we get started with Knowledge Building?  KB talk can be initiated as early as Kindergarten  At The Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study (Toronto, Canada), children are introduced to the knowledge building principles when they first enter the school at the age of three h  The process of playing with ideas is natural in children, and is often exhibited as soon as children learn to speak  Expression and discussion of students’ ideas can be vehicles to deeper knowledge and understanding  So-called “misconceptions” are better thought of as “improvable ideas ideas” and basis for conceptual change rather than “mistakes.” mistakes.
  6. 6. + Senior Kindergarten: Leaves are falling down because it is Fall Example The season is Fall and the teacher suggests the children begin to look at trees It is a process that takes place over many weeks – a period of time that allows young children to note and observe each stage of the trees’ change The children are observing related variables: temperature changing, rainfall, or the wind blowing stronger And all of these changes are occurring right outside the door of each child’s home and school -- an authentic and real situation that can foster the creation of ideas on natural phenomena
  7. 7. + KB in Senior Kindergarten By experiencing the pattern observation- discussion-experiment-discussion, children learn that all ideas are improvable and that each step helps to refine theories and, at the same time, generate new questions. The ideas offered by individuals become deliberately “detached” from the student so that they are “owned” by the group as a whole, rather than an individual. The continuous reference to the ideas of the group creates a psychologically safe environment for the students, where they feel free to express Authoritative sources their ideas without immediately being labeled “right” or “wrong”, and then work on those ideas to improve their quality, coherence, and utility At a certain point of KB Discourse, students begin Discourse to address high-level ideas, calling into question difficult concepts, such as oxygen or chlorophyll. At this stage, the use of authoritative sources can be introduced
  8. 8. + Grade 1: Towards Knowledge Forum In order to be improved, ideas need to be recorded, revised and synthesized. Knowledge Forum represents a perfect community workspace for this. p KF can be used as soon as students start to read and write, notably during the Grade 1 year (6-7 years old) Since the cognitive cost of writing and reading processes is very high, it is important to develop these processes in a context that is engaging and somehow “lived” by the students lived Before discussing it on KF, the topic could be worked through and used in various contexts, explored and questioned, and connected with students’ p q intuitions, habits and their real world In this way, writing and reading enter into the process of KB naturally, as a logical l i l continuation of the work on ideas ti ti f th k id
  9. 9. + Introducing KF in grade 1 Example The teacher invites students to sit in a circle, while she is circle projecting a blank Knowledge Forum view onto a big screen The teacher explained that every child at the school has such a space to preserve and improve his/her ideas Together the teacher and children decide on the name of the new view (How leaves change color ?) KF view Individual work: the teacher asks each student to tell his/her best theory that explained why leaves change color The teacher types everything the child is saying into a KF note under the student’s name The teacher asks clarifying questions, but does not push The teacher pays particular attention to the titles of the notes Students St d t are f free t go i any di ti with th i id to in direction ith their ideas
  10. 10. + Introducing KF in grade 1 g g Example E l With a gentle nudge from their teacher, the children start to devise experiments that would Experiments allow them to test their theories After experiments, observation, and KB Talks the teacher types the children’s improved theories into a “build on note build on” When the children’s reading and writing skills get stronger, they start to work independently on the database The students are excited about this new adventure – their theories had their own right to exist in a community space It is clear how excited the children are to read a “build on” note to their note. This motivates the children to practice their reading reading.
  11. 11. Idea Progress in Grade 1:+ November 10 November 27 December 17 January 18 The interplay between work on and off the database is critical in helping the children engage in idea improvement
  12. 12. + To conclude: An interview with SK and grade 1 teachers from the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study (Toronto, Canada) (Movie to be incorporated, about 3min) – Hedieh is working on this: Questions  How do you begin a Knowledge Building inquiry?  How can you stimulate a powerful Knowledge Building discourse with young students?  What are the main aspects of Knowledge Building pedagogy that need to be grasp in order to become a knowledge building teacher? b ildi t h ?