Abstract of Keynote Speech

Primary School Student’s Conception of Knowledge Building and their Epistemic beliefs in the context of Social Studies
Ching Sing Chai
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China

Knowledge building (KB) has been advocated as a deep constructivist approach that build students’ capacity for knowledge creation. Given its pedagogical essence, it seems necessary that students participating in KB learning environment need to possess appropriate epistemic stance. Nonetheless, few studies on students’ epistemic beliefs or their conceptions and approaches to KB have been conducted. This study validated an instrument that measured students’ conception of KB (i.e. KB as accumulating knowledge and KB as negotiating ideas integration) and approaches of KB (Seeking information and adding ideas and Building and refining ideas). In addition, an epistemic survey adapted from previous research measured students’ certainty of knowledge; authority sources of knowledge; Knowledge development; and Justification of knowledge. The survey was administered to 247 primary school students who have participated in KB for their social studies for one year or more. The survey was validated and most factors were found to be correlated. The mean scores indicated that the students possessed relatively advanced epistemological beliefs and they agreed with both shallow and deep conceptions and approaches of KB with mean scores for the four factors all above 4. Structural equation modelling indicated that justification predicts all factors of KB conceptions and approaches. The study provides evidences that KB is intertwined with students’ epistemic beliefs and future research should study the reciprocal relationships between KB and epistemic belief over time.

Keynote Speaker

Prof. Ching Sing Chai (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China)

Ching Sing Chai is a Professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China. He served as a school teacher and head of department after he completed his B.A. from National Taiwan University with scholarship from the Ministry of Education (Singapore). He joined the National Institute of Education after completing his Master degree in Nanyang Technological University 2001, and subsequently finished his Ed. D with the University of Leicester in 2006. His research interests are in the areas of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK), teachers’ beliefs, design epistemology and students’ learning with ICT. He has published more than 80 journal articles in reputable journals listed in the Social Science Citation Index. He has also co-authored several monographs including the recently published “Design Thinking for Education: Conceptions and Applications in Teaching and Learning”, a Springer-published book. Currently, he works with Hong Kong teachers in designing AI integrated lessons and integrative STEM lessons.