Model KB Session at Endeavour Primary School

Here's a video of a teacher from Endeavour Primary School, Pavithra, modeling a Knowledge Building Session:

In this scenario, Pavithra briefly demonstrates approaches that can be used to conduct a Knowledge Building Session:

1. Pavithra reads out a note: "Aini says, a theory is anything, matter is anything that occupies space and has weight." (Getting Students to Generate Ideas)

2. "We get students to build on to this note, add on to her theory." (Getting Students to Generate Ideas, Connect Ideas)

3.  So what we do in class is, we tell them, “Hey, you have a fantastic idea, so how do you know it’s anything that occupies space? How do you know?” (Getting Students to Improve Ideas)

4. Hey Jeffrey, your note and John’s note is the same, so how do you think we can improve on this? Who wants to build-on to Jeffrey? (Getting Students to Connect Ideas, Improve Ideas)



(Jiemin - SBC topic on Healthy & Unhealthy food (Huixuan))


Syllabus Aims

The 2010 English Curriculum syllabus has been structured according to 3 main aims - Students are expected to engage in Critical Thinking whilst listening, reading and viewing texts; they also are to attain speaking, writing and representation skills that allow them to communicate effectively and appropriately across different contexts. Lastly, they are to acquire the vocabulary and grammar proficiency in order to fulfil the above two aims as well.


Where does KB come into play? 

As mentioned before...

- Alternative pedagogy emphasising Student-directed learning

- Allow for empowerment of students in learning, and greater depth of learning

- etc 


The English syllabus can be further simplified into two target areas: content generation & improvement of language skills. By adopting KB, we are able to harness the creativity, ideas and skills of multiple students at the same time - leading to a larger variety and depth of ideas developed. This can be done for both content and skills.


Where do I, as a teacher, come in? 

Phases of KB pedagogy

  1. Identifying students' problem of understanding
  2. Getting students to generate ideas
  3. Getting students to connect ideas
  4. Getting the class to improve ideas
  5. Knowing how much students' have learnt

(insert diagram: phase 1 --> designing of a KB classroom. Phases 2-5 --> enacting KB)


Below, we will look at how KB could be implemented and carried out using an example from Jiemin Primary. 


Designing a KB classroom

Teacher --> identify gap in learning, structure & engage students' in learning discourse by providing relevant triggers (e.g. use of video, observation of phenomenon, etc)




Enacting KB

A online platform, the Knowledge Forum (KF), was used in order to facilitate the KB process in the class.  Scaffolds were also adopted in order to structure the students' ideas toward the development of more complex and refined concepts during KB. 


Idea generation:

- 'I need to understand'

- 'My Theory'

- 'New information'


Connecting the ideas:

- 'This theory cannot explain'


Moving forward together:

- use of Rise Above

- 'A better theory'

- 'Pulling our ideas together' (reflection)


In this process, as a facilitator, the teacher monitors and provide feedback for the student.

- 'Promisingness' tool

- Statistical functions in KF enable teachers to track the progress of individual students throughout the KB process

- Assessing of learning via Reflection notes



Okay... So where does the content go?

Along the KB process, the students have engaged in the critical analysis of ideas by their peers, as well as the evaluation of information brought up in the classroom. They have also, in their content generation, surfaced relevant vocabulary to the topic at hand.  


How do they then translate this understanding into practical language skills? 


- Composition


Follow-up by writing a compo related to the topic --> students are required to synthesise their learning, and to communicate their ideas clearly using appropriate grammar and vocabulary. 



More realistic and well-developed ideas for composition writing





(wrap up with anecdote on student-teacher interaction)



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