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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24861

Title: Principle-based Implementation of Knowledge Building Communities
Authors: Reeve, Richard
Advisor: Scardamalia, Marlene
Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Keywords: innovation
knowledge building
study groups
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2010
Abstract: This thesis investigates issues and challenges surrounding the use of teacher study groups as a means of addressing the gap that must be closed between design principles and classroom practices in order to effectively implement an educational innovation. A multiple-case design was used to examine how teachers’ perceived understanding of the Knowledge Building Communities principles changed over time and affected their implementation of the Knowledge Building Communities model—a model that requires student engagement in the collaborative production of ideas that are continually improved by all participants. Knowledge Forum® is an on-line environment designed to support Knowledge Building. Data sources for this study include teacher interviews, transcripts of study group meetings, teachers’ ratings of their perceived understanding of Knowledge Building principles, teacher and student activity in Knowledge Forum, and student interviews. In total this study involved seven teachers and eleven study group meetings across three school sites. Based on work at a site already engaged in Knowledge Building a tentative proposition was developed: discussing Knowledge Building principles increases teachers’ perceived understanding of these principles and contributes to increasingly effective designs for implementing them. This proposition was tested and refined at two additional elementary public schools. Taken together the findings suggest the importance of and difficulties surrounding study groups focused on principle-based approaches to pedagogical change. In particular, the findings point to discussion and active engagement with the principles as a catalyst for change. A data analysis technique was developed to examine the discourse patterns of select episodes of study group meetings. The resulting pattern suggests the principles can frame a study groups’ work and set the groundwork for change through discussion of goals underlying the principles, stories relevant to their implementation, and commitment to ongoing experimentation to address obstacles. Detailed accounts of teacher difficulties and change form the basis of a descriptive model developed to convey how teachers address contextual concerns in their study groups, with elaboration of the types of interactions that help them move to deeper understanding of principles and to more successful implementations of the Knowledge Building Communities model.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24861
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning - Doctoral theses

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