Knowledge Building New Zealand

With the emergence of the knowledge society, there is a high demand for “ingenuity”, for good and powerful ideas that can help address the many social, economic, and environmental challenges that come with the knowledge age. As a developed nation, New Zealand is shifting from an industrial society to a knowledge society and there is an urgent need to develop young people’s competency to work creatively and innovatively with knowledge.

The purpose of this KNOWLEDGE BUILDING NEW ZEALAND website is to serve as a hub for teachers, researchers, and educators who are interested in developing Knowledge Building communities in their organisations in New Zealand. This network also aims at developing a Knowledge Building community for New Zealand educators and researchers to exchange, develop, and build-on ideas, as well as to disseminate resources, research findings, and practices about Knowledge Building research and development.

What is Knowledge Building?

Information and communication technology (ICT) has been considered a change agent, having the potential to facilitate students to acquire the much needed metacognitive, problem solving, and learning how to learn skills that are required to work with and create knowledge in the knowledge society. To this end, a myriad of technology-enhanced learning environments have been designed and researched internationally in the last three decades. One of the very few of these technology-supported learning environments that is based on a well-designed pedagogical model is knowledge building communities. This model has been developed from over two decades of cognitive research on intentional learning, and it views learning as a constructive process of knowledge building (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2010). The goal of knowledge building is “the production and continual improvement of ideas of value to a community” (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2003, p.1370) and the role of the teacher is to guide learners to “engage in extended questioning and explanation-driven inquiry” (So, Seah, & Toh-Heng, 2010, p. 480). The knowledge building pedagogical model developed by Scardamalia & Bereiter (2006) has 12 principles. These principles are student-centred principles based on the premise that with the support of technology, all learners can create authentic knowledge work and advance communal knowledge in their classes, similar to what research communities do (Lee, Chan, & van Aalst, 2006). In these knowledge building communities, students have primarily used Knowledge Forum, a Web-based networking software system designed to support knowledge building with a set of scaffolding tools to engage in online discourse to develop, reformulate, critique, and build on ideas on cutting-edge questions to advance personal understanding and communal knowledge.

This website is hosted by the Centre for Distance Education and Learning Technologies, University of Otago.


© Knowledge Building New Zealand
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054
Aotearoa / New Zealand

Tel 64 3 479 3724
Fax 64 3 479 3932