Abstract of Invited Speech

Promoting Epistemic and Conceptual Change through Knowledge Building
Carol Chan
The University of Hong Kong, China

Pivotal to learning and development is the role of epistemic beliefs and epistemic cognition -- Promoting students’ epistemic development takes on more significance in light of knowledge explosion, technology change and demands for creative knowledge work in the knowledge era. Increasing research interests have now been given to interventions for epistemic change in classrooms, and designing technology-enhanced learning environments for epistemic change and knowledge creation merits further investigation. In this talk, I will discuss theory, design and evidence of the Knowledge-Building (KB) model (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2006; 2014) supported by Knowledge Forum®, for epistemic change, drawing from design-based studies with elementary-school students working on Knowledge Forum pursuing scientific inquiry. First, I will present the theoretical underpinning of KB, an epistemological theory, that posits how knowledge can be advanced through progressive and scientific dialogue – I will argue why the KB model supports epistemic change premised on the theory-building perspective. Second, pedagogy and design principles of KB focusing on collective idea improvement, enriched with meta-discourse, and linking novice with expert epistemology in a KB community will be examined. Third, how students engage in the meta-discourse processes supported by KF resulting in epistemic and conceptual growth will be examined. Theory, pedagogy and technology are integral in the KB approach – theoretical and design implications of KB for promoting students’ epistemic and conceptual development will be discussed.

Invited Speaker

Prof. Carol Chan (The University of Hong Kong, China)

Carol Chan is a Professor at the Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong. She was a co-convener of the Strategic Research Theme on Science of Learning at HKU and a Visiting Fellow at University of Cambridge. Her research area is in Learning Sciences focusing on cognition, learning and instruction. For two decades, her research in knowledge building has focused on designing and assessing collaborative knowledge building supported with technology and examining the epistemic dynamics and socio-cultural processes of learning. Her other research interests include dialogic education and teacher learning. She is an Associate Editor of International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning and she serves as Editorial Board member of prestigious journals including Learning and Instruction and Journal of the Learning Sciences. She is also a recipient of both University Teaching and Faculty Outstanding Research Student Supervision Awards.