Co-Designing a Collaborative Curriculum for Secondary School Biology

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  • 1. Co-Designing a Collaborative Curriculum for Secondary School Biology Vanessa L. Peters and James D. Slotta Ontario Institute for Studies in Education University of Toronto, Canada EARLI 2009 - Amsterdam
  • 2. Knowledge Communities in the Classroom Reection Knowledge Building (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2003) Share Consequential Research Information Task Deep Disciplinary Content Fostering a Community of Learners (Brown & Campione, 1996) High level of student agency Distributed expertise Community knowledge base Technology scaffolds Progressive Inquiry (Hakkarainen, 2003)
  • 3. Research Question Can secondary science teachers adopt a knowledge community approach in their classrooms while still addressing the mandated curriculum? High content Time commitment volume Targeted learning Knowledge Access to technology outcomes Community Conventional Signicant changes in assessments teachers practices
  • 4. Previous studies of FCL in secondary classrooms Biology classroom: Teachers tended to revert back to traditional teaching teaching modes; loss of emphasis on big ideas of curriculum (Rico & Shulman, 2004). Mathematics classroom: Implementation requires a reconceptualization of mathematics instruction, as well as some rethinking of the essential features of FCL (Sherin, Mendez, & Louis, 2004). Social studies classroom: Pragmatic nature of social studies compatible with FCL; teachers embraced jigsaw activity, but still defaulted to familiar methods (Mintrop, 2004).
  • 5. Knowledge Community and Inquiry (KCI) Model (Slotta, 2007; Slotta & Peters, 2008) Community Knowledge Base Collaborative Scaffolded Assessable Knowledge Inquiry Learning Construction Activities Outcomes Emergent Themes & Content Expectations Community Voice & Learning Goals
  • 6. Two Iterations of KCI Human Physiology Canadian Biodiversity 102 students, 2 teachers 114 students, 3 teachers 1 week (spring 2006) 8 weeks (fall 2006/winter 2007) CKC activity (2 class periods): CKC activity (6 class periods): Human system diseases Ecozones and biomes Inquiry activity: Biodiversity issues Challenge Cases Inquiry activity: Research proposal Co-Design: Researchers and teachers work together in dened roles to design and develop an educational innovation (Roschelle, Penuel, & Shechtman, 2006).
  • 7. Scaffolded wiki environment Supports collaborative authoring Easy to use, fast start-up All document revisions are archived Customized templates
  • 8. Knowledge Community and Inquiry (KCI) Model (Slotta, 2007; Slotta & Peters, 2008) Community Knowledge Base Collaborative Knowledge Construction
  • 9. Iteration 1: Human Physiology Lesson on Internal Systems (respiratory, circulatory, digestive) Students used web to create wiki pages using Disease Page script
  • 10. KCI: Collaborative Knowledge Construction Embedded instructional prompts to target curriculum expectations All 102 students contributed to the same community resource
  • 11. Knowledge Community and Inquiry (KCI) Model (Slotta, 2007; Slotta & Peters, 2008) Community Knowledge Base Collaborative Scaffolded Knowledge Inquiry Construction Activities Emergent Themes Content Expectations & Community Voice & Learning Goals
  • 12. KCI: Scaffolded Inquiry Challenge Case: Fictitious medical case study about patient and physician Created and solved cases in different internal systems
  • 13. Knowledge Resource Base Authors Page Revisions 50 45 Mean SD 40 Revisions 23.05 10.27 35 Word Count 1212.9 404.77 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Disease Pages (23)
  • 14. Knowledge Community and Inquiry (KCI) Model (Slotta, 2007; Slotta & Peters, 2008) Community Knowledge Base Collaborative Scaffolded Assessable Knowledge Inquiry Learning Construction Activities Outcomes Emergent Themes & Content Expectations Community Voice & Learning Goals
  • 15. Student achievement on nal exam Physiology Score Rest of Exam 100 90 91.60 Physiology scores 80 82.42 83.35 signicantly higher with 70 new curriculum 68.18 66.60 67.38 60 F(2, 96) = 7.236, p = .001) 50 Same teacher all 3 years 40 30 Similar open-ended 20 questions 10 0 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 Academic Year
  • 16. Iteration 1 Design Challenges Students used the community knowledge base when solving challenge cases, but did not engage deeply with their peers work. Lack of any real connection between the scaffolded inquiry activities and the community knowledge base. Students were dissatised that their wiki disease pages were not formally graded.
  • 17. Iteration 2: Biodiversity 8-week unit on Canadas biodiversity (ecozones, biomes, sustainability issues) Students used customized Ecozone Page script when creating Knowledge Resource Base
  • 18. KCI: Collaborative Knowledge Construction
  • 19. Ecozone page assessment criteria Components Criteria Value Completion & Accuracy Page includes all categories specified in 30% template Quality & Relevancy Logical organization; clear navigation; 20% relevant pictures/diagrams Organization Logical organization; clear navigation; 10% inclu