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Finding voices and emerging agency in classroom learning
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Paper presented at the 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2012, Sydney, Australia, 2-6 July, 2012
This paper describes the development of a class as a learning community that
transits from one established classroom practice that elevated monologic voices of authorities
to another practice that encouraged dialogic participation. The project illustrated in this paper
took a design-based approach in nurturing a learning community in a classroom, with which
we re-designed the Secondary 1 Geography curriculum with teachers around six design
principles. This paper proposes that the effort of a teacher, Nicole, helped learners find their
inner persuasive voices and developed their conceptual agency in learning Geography. The
transition of Nicole’s Geography class is examined by comparing episodes from different
periods of the project implementation, with the goal of finding out how students’ agency
emerges from this transition.
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