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Knowledge building principles
Zhu, G., Chai, S., & Ding, M. (2022). Exploring pre-service teachers' democratizing knowledge in a knowledge building community: Indicators and results. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40299-022-00662-5
The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher
Democratizing knowledge is about empowering all participants to be legitimate contributors to a group's shared goals and helping them take pride in advancing community knowledge. It is a crucial principle of Knowledge Building theory, the importance of which to developing more equitable learning environments is well recognized. However, what the indicators of democratizing knowledge are and how they manifest in pre-service teachers' Knowledge Building discourse are rarely studied topics; it is not clear how the indicators of democratizing knowledge correlate with students' adoption of Knowledge Building principles. This exploratory study addressed these issues by identifying the cognitive and social aspects of democratizing knowledge of 35 pre-service teachers' Knowledge Building discourse and analyzing the correlations between participants' adoption of Knowledge Building principles and different subcategories of democratizing knowledge. We identified greater frequencies of advancing ideas in their groups and being open to different ideas by participants, but lower frequencies of achieving a shared understanding or goals and rising above individual ideas to achieve synthesis by participants. Moderate to strong correlations between the indicators of democratizing knowledge and Knowledge Building principles were found. In addition, participants' notes that fell into the rise-above subcategory of democratizing knowledge were significantly fewer than notes of other subcategories. This study provides theoretical and practical implications concerning supporting and fostering learners' democratizing knowledge in Knowledge Building communities. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
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