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Title: Scaffolding a Knowledge Community for High School Physics
Authors: Tissenbaum, Mike
Slotta, Jim
Issue Date: Jul-2012
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
Citation: Tissenbaum, M. & Slotta, J. (2012). Scaffolding a Knowledge Community for High School Physics. In van Aalst, J., Thompson, K., Jacobson, M. J., & Reimann, P. (Eds.), The Future of Learning: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2012) – Volume 2, Short Papers, Symposia, and Abstracts (pp. 436-440). Sydney, NSW, AUSTRALIA: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: This paper presents a design study of a collective inquiry model for high school Physics, where student-contributions are captured, aggregated, tagged and represented in a coherent visualization. We have developed a flexible technology layer that supports the aggregation of peer responses, including the collection of student explanations and semantic tags. We investigate collaborative inquiry scripts and discuss how they must comprise both the (macro) scripts that are enacted over a long-term curriculum, and the (micro) scripts that are enacted in class. We outline our rationale for inquiry design in Physics, the role scripting and orchestration play in the successful implementation of this curriculum, the role of the "smart classroom" in their enactment, and three successive iterations of our curriculum. Knowledge Communities for 21st Century Learning As we move further into the "knowledge age" today's workplace is shaped by new technologies, where activities are increasingly data-driven, collaborative, and predicated on a set of fundamental skills commonly referred to as information literacies (Livingstone, 2008). This shift is particularly pronounced across STEM disciplines, where workplace practices are shifting towards large, data-intensive, multidisciplinary collaborations across ever-widening spatial and temporal scales (e.g., the Human Genome project). A theoretical perspective from the learning sciences that is well suited to learning and instruction in the knowledge age is that of knowledge communities, as exemplified by the Fostering Communities of Learners (FCL) project (Brown & Campione, 1996), and Knowledge Building (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1996), amongst others. These researchers have advanced an epistemological perspective where students consider learning as a social process, and value the collective knowledge of their peers. Although difficult to enact (Sherin et al, 2004), the knowledge community approach has garnered renewed attention, partly as a result of Web 2.0 capabilities, which can support complex pedagogical constructs (Slotta & Najafi, 2010). Using "Web 2.0" technologies, students are active participants in a knowledge community that is engaged in the production, aggregation, and assessment of science topics, with an emphasis on inquiry and collaboration (Peters & Slotta, 2010). The socially-oriented process of adding of meta-data (tags) to user- contributed content can provide opportunities to reveal meaningful connections and flexible real-time representations (Mathes, 2004). However, questions still remain about how such collections of content can best serve student learning and foster knowledge communities. Reflection and scripting, are two important aspects of such research and will be discussed in the present paper
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2012

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