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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Group Knowledge Building - Making Inquiry Work Part 2


Written by Lindsay Brooks, Instructional Coach at Percy Pegler

After a hands on experience, group knowledge building supports the idea we can build knowledge as a collective group.  “It serves to identify shared problems and gaps in understanding and to advance the understanding beyond the level of the most knowledgeable individual” (Scardamalia, 2002, p.12).  Group knowledge building can be applied K to 12.


Learners come together with the collective goal of idea improvement.   They share, pose questions, negotiate and refine their ideas.


You can build group knowledge by following the three stages:
Chiarotto, L. (2011). Natural Curiosity: A Resource for Teachers: Building Children's Understanding of the World Through Environmental Inquiry. Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.


Circles are a great way to eliminate hierarchy as all students can have an equal place in a circle and no one student takes precedence over another. The teacher is also viewed as a co-learner in the circle.  Knowledge building circles foster respect for all, which is a life skill.  Posing questions can help to clarify multiple points of view and respect the diverse contributions of individuals in a collaborative group session.


References
Chiarotto, L. (2011). Natural Curiosity: A Resource for Teachers: Building Children's Understanding of the World Through Environmental Inquiry. Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.


Kozak, S., & Elliott, S. (2011). Connecting the Dots. Learning for a Sustainable Future.

Scardamalia, M (2002). Collective Cognitive responsibility for the advancement of knowledge. In B. Smith (Ed). Liberal Education in a Knowledge Society (pp.67-98). Chicago, IL: Open Court

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