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Teacher-education students’ views about knowledge building theory and practice


This study investigated the effects of engaging students to collectively learn and work with knowledge in a computer-supported collaborative learning environment called Knowledge Forum on their views about knowledge building theory and practice. Participants were 24 teacher-education students who took a required course titled “Integrating Theory and Practice in Teaching.” Data mainly came from (1) student discourse recorded in a Knowledge Forum database, (2) a survey that examined students’ views about knowledge building, and (3) interviews with regard to students’ perceived barriers to implementing knowledge building theory in teaching. Findings suggest that with sustained discourse to construct their collective understanding of the relationships between theory and practice in teaching for a semester, the participants were able to attain more informed and practical views about knowledge building theory. In addition, students’ perceived barriers to implementing knowledge building in teaching were identified and strategies to help overcome these barriers discussed.

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The preparation of this paper was supported in part by the National Science Council, Taiwan, grants NSC96-2524-S-008-001 and NSC97-2511-S-004-001-MY2. We extend special thanks to the students and teacher for their participation and for the research opportunities enabled by them. Our special thanks also go to Florence R. Sullivan for editing the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Huang-Yao Hong.

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Hong, H., Chen, F., Chai, C.S. et al. Teacher-education students’ views about knowledge building theory and practice. Instr Sci 39, 467–482 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11251-010-9143-4

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  • Knowledge building
  • Teacher education students
  • Epistemology
  • Teaching beliefs