The knowledge building classroom is a community where every individual is a contributor, a co-creator of knowledge. Students own the learning, its outcomes and processes. Teachers design and facilitate knowledge building; the inquiry process.
In essence, a knowledge building classroom is a knowledge community. It is an ecological approach to learning where individuals construct knowledge in and with the community.
Students are deeply engaged in inquiry. It means determining their own learning goals and strategies; reflecting on their own learning; providing and receiving feedback with their peers. Gathering data, searching for information and presenting conclusions remain necessary in the inquiry process. In a KB classroom, the student is responsible for his or her own learning; accountable to the knowledge community. The student is truly a self directed and collaborative learner.
No doubt, the teacher is important to facilitate learning - beyond providing feedback, developing materials and activities. Teachers facilitate the inquiry process by supporting team building and collaboration, mediating communication between students. In a KB classroom, every individual is a contributor. The teacher is a subject expert, but not the sole expert.
Teachers design experiences and environments that cultivate and develop the skills and attitudes for learning. It is a contrast to manufacturing learning that is pre-packaged and funnels students along a pre-determined path.