Causes of WWI

The history topic that a teacher, Melvin, was to cover with his class was the causes of WWI.

His trigger activity was to split students into groups to work on the inquiry question “Was Germany responsible for WWI?”, but each group was assigned different roles of key players in WWI, e.g., Group A represented France, Groups B represented Britain, Group C represented Germany, etc. Students were instructed to answer the question from their assigned perspective. They wrote their individual answers on pieces of paper, which were converted into respective group flowcharts and write-ups in the next lesson.

KB pedagogy consequently came into play when Melvin took each group's flowchart and write-up and passed to different groups for peer review. Students were tasked with writing new things they learnt from reading the other groups' work, and posing questions for the group. In this way, Melvin got students to work on improving and building on to ideas.

In subsequent lessons where students were actively posting their ideas and inquiries on KF, students continually thought about, and questioned, the role of the key players in WWI (i.e., Britain, France, Germany, etc.). For example, in a KF view (Fig. 1) where Melvin questioned his students if the Treaty of Versailles (TOV) was fair to Germany, a student answered that "Germany did not cause the war to happen...", and named Austria, Hungary, France, and Great Britain as countries who should shoulder the blame as well (Fig. 2).

  Fig 1. KF view "TOV fair?" of Melvin's class

Fig 1. KF view "TOV fair?" of Melvin's class

  Fig 2. A student's note in the KF view "TOV fair?"

Fig 2. A student's note in the KF view "TOV fair?"