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CfP: ISLS 2022 Workshop on Infrastructuring for Knowledge Building

A Workshop Synthesizing CSCL Perspectives

Published onMar 10, 2022
CfP: ISLS 2022 Workshop on Infrastructuring for Knowledge Building
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Registration form

Call for Participation

We are excited to invite you to join us on May 30-31 7am-10am MDT / 8am-11am CDT / 9am-12pm EDT / 4pm-7pm Israel / 9pm-12am Singapore at the 2022 ISLS Annual meeting for an online pre-conference workshop: Infrastructuring for Knowledge Building: A Workshop Synthesizing CSCL Perspectives. The goal of this online workshop is to advance conceptualizations and research on infrastructures for knowledge building. It is part of a larger emerging internationalization effort, of which all are welcome to join, to energize and cross-fertilize fragmented research programs on this exciting topic.

We invite practitioners and researchers in all domains who are actively researching, are interested in researching, or want to learn more about innovations in the theory and design of knowledge building infrastructures. This includes technological, spatial, social, emotional, psychological, ethical, institutional, ecological, and other perspectives. The workshop is open to key contributors and active participants. 

  • Key contributors are those who actively research knowledge building infrastructures in various forms. They will, in addition to being a full participant in the workshop’s activities, present the research and design of their infrastructures at the workshop.

  • Active participants will be selected based on their interest in participating in the workshop and experience in this area. Participants will be expected to actively engage in the workshop’s activities, contributing to the knowledge of the group by offering their diverse perspectives. Participants with limited or no experience, who would like to come to learn, will be encouraged to apply. 

Please complete this online application form if you are interested in participating. Key contributors will be asked to (a) provide a brief description of their presentation and (b) share relevant readings or resources to the workshop. Active participants will be asked to submit a statement of interest. All applicants who are ISLS members and register to the 2022 ISLS annual meeting will be eligible to participate.

If you have any questions, please contact us at kbinfrastructures@edtech.haifa.ac.il

Invited Speakers and Discussant

  • Dr. William Penuel, University of Colorado Boulder, Invited Speaker

  • Dr. Jianwei Zhang, University at Albany, Invited Speaker

  • Dr. Katerine Bielaczyc, Clark University, Discussant

Workshop Organizers

  • Dr. Yotam Hod, Associate Professor at the University of Haifa

  • Dr. Bodong Chen, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota

  • Dr. Etan Cohen, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Haifa and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

  • Shiri Kashi, Ph.D. student at the University of Haifa

  • Dr. Guangji Yuan, Research Scientist at the National Institute of Education in the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

  • Dr. Alwyn Lee, Research Fellow at the National Institute of Education in the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Theoretical background

Knowledge building

The theory and practice of Knowledge Building (KB), introduced by Scardamalia and Bereiter in the early 1990’s, is one of the most well-known and influential educational approaches seeking to foster a culture of creativity, collaboration, and innovation in classrooms (Chan & van Aalst, 2018). It is supported by a pioneering CSCL environment named Knowledge Forum. KB was heavily influenced by the ideas of authenticity and enculturation. Following this logic, KB communities are designed to approximate the culture of authentic knowledge building organizations and their practices within classroom contexts (Hod & Sagy, 2019).

Twelve principles underlying the KB approach have been articulated in various formats over the years (Chan & van Aalst, 2018; Chen & Hong, 2016; Cohen & Hod, 2021; Zhang et al, 2011) with some modifications. While the principles have remained durable despite implementations in diverse settings (Cohen & Hod, 2021), there have been increasing efforts in recent years to investigate the infrastructure needed to foster KB in various school contexts, motivating a need to systematically explore how their findings can be used to supplement or extend the current set of KB principles. The long-term process of revising design principles with new innovations could enrich the knowledge building endeavor around KB itself. The notion of infrastructure, and infrastructuring in education (Penuel, 2019), offers a fresh angle to advance Knowledge Building.

Knowledge building infrastructures

To date, KB research has focused on the socio-cognitive and technological dynamics required to sustain knowledge building, but has not focused specifically on the unique infrastructures that enable them. By knowledge building infrastructures, we mean the set of tangible (e.g., technological tools) and intangible (e.g., social norms) objects or processes necessary for knowledge building. Infrastructures, according to Star and Ruhleder (1996), are embedded in socio-technical structures, are transparent to use, and shape and are shaped by rules and conventions in a community. Infrastructures for knowledge production in research communities include “robust networks of people, artifacts, and institutions that generate, share, and maintain specific knowledge about the human and natural worlds” (Edwards, 2010). These perspectives of infrastructure highlight their relational property, foreground people and social configurations, and recognize the political dimension of knowledge production (Edwards et al., 2013).

Such relational and ecological views of infrastructure are indeed taken up by learning scientists as they seek to design classroom environments (Bielaczyc, 2013), support equity-oriented teacher learning (Jurow, Horn, & Philip, 2018), or scale and sustain learning opportunities across settings (Penuel, Lee, & Bevan, 2014). By infrastructuring, learning scientists not only create innovative tools or practices, but also attempt to create conditions to support learning by “redesigning components, relations, and routines” of educational institutions (Penuel, 2019, p. 659). For KB, this approach is promising by attending to the gaps not addressed by the current KB principles and connecting knowledge building in the classroom to school managers, policy makers, and with knowledge work in the broader society.

Theme and goals of the workshop

With an eye on contributing new ideas that can advance our understanding of what and how infrastructure principles enable knowledge building, this workshop will explore and synthesize ongoing research that includes a variety of examples that deal with and conceptualize knowledge building infrastructures. For example, recently researchers have examined how students’ mindsets may play an important role in their successful participation in the knowledge building process (Kici & Scardamalia, 2018), and how the collaborative spaces and boundary objects enable knowledge creations across communities and function as the knowledge infrastructure for inquiry and learning within a trustworthy background database (Yuan & Zhang, 2020; Zhang, Yuan & Bogouslavsky, 2020), while others have examined emotional issues (Hod & Katz, 2020; Zheng, Zhong, & Niu, 2021). Some authors have directly suggested that a social infrastructure is needed (Bielaczyc, 2006) beyond the many ongoing efforts at developing technological and analytical infrastructures (Chen, Chang & Groos, 2020; Oshima, Oshima & Matsuzawa, 2012; Zhang et al., 2018). Although knowledge building principles may articulate knowledge building processes, there are gaps in attending to students’ emotional, social, and personal lives that are relevant to any KB implementation, as well as how to connect the cutting-edge work of one community to the efforts of other communities in meta-spaces. One of the current challenges for the knowledge building community is to better understand what principles underlie infrastructures and how they facilitate knowledge building (Cohen & Hod, 2021). Answering these questions is the main goal of this workshop.

Workshop activities

To best reach these goals, the workshop will be organized into four sections, with both pre- and post-activities. Before the conference workshop, all participants will be asked to introduce themselves on a collaborative online platform (Knowledge Forum) and write abstracts describing their research. Then, groups of four participants will be asked to meet to discuss the research abstracts of the other participants and identify questions and promising ideas which we will deepen during the workshop. The workshop time will be divided into four sections:

Section 1 - Who are we? After a short introductory presentation by the workshop co-organizers as well as two 15-minute invited presentations, the group will engage in ice-breaking and experience sharing activities to (a) explore everyone’s interest and background on the topic; (b) build group cohesion; (c) make sure that new members are given a legitimate place; and (d) establish norms as our own community forms.

Section 2 - What are we building upon? Two invited speakers, Drs. Penuel and Zhang, will help us launch the discussion by presenting their ideas. The whole group will engage in a structured poster session (or alike) focusing upon the different KB infrastructure research that the participants have brought in. At first, each of the candidates will give three-minute “lightning talks” about their poster. Then, several rounds of interactive discussions will occur around online posters so that everyone participating in the workshop will have a chance to engage with all of them. The purposes of these activities are to (a) give all the participants a chance to deepen their knowledge about each poster and discuss issues with the authors; and (b) give the contributors feedback.

Section 3 - What new ideas or insights can advance our current state-of-knowledge? The group will engage in structured small group discussions around the questions and promising ideas that resulted from the meetings in preparation for the workshop, the invited presentations, and the online poster session. An interactive group format will be designed to facilitate cross-group knowledge sharing, so that participants with distributed expertise will have opportunities to interact with various workshop participants. The purpose of these activities is to advance central ideas and challenges related to the knowledge that already exists in the community.

Section 4 - What have we learned and where do we go from here? The group will engage in closing activities to reflect on what we learned, both individually and collectively, and to plan future activities.

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