This study explores emergent reflective structuration as a new form of shared regulation. The purpose is to support students in taking on high-level epistemic agency as they co-configure dynamic inquiry pathways that unfold over long periods of time. With the teacher’s support, students not only regulate their inquiry and collaboration following pre-scripted structures, but they also co-construct shared inquiry pathways to frame and reframe their community practices in response to progress and needs that emerge over time. Our data analysis investigates the temporal and interactional processes by which members of a Grade 5 classroom co-configured their knowledge building pathways in a yearlong science inquiry focusing on the human body systems. As a co-constructed structure, students co-formulated an evolving chart of “big questions” that signified shared inquiry directions with the teacher’s support. The inquiry process was supported by Knowledge Form and Idea Thread Mapper, which visualizes the online knowledge building discourse based on temporal streams of inquiry focusing on the “big questions.” Qualitative analysis of classroom observation notes, videos, student artifacts, online discourse, and student interviews documented nine “big questions” co-formulated by the community over time. Further analysis revealed students’ agentic moves to expand, deepen, and reframe the knowledge building work of their community. Analyses of online discourse and a pre-and post-test showed productive idea contributions, interactions, and knowledge outcomes. Conceptual and practical implications are discussed.
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This research was supported by the U. S. National Science Foundation (#1122573, #1441479 awarded to the second author) and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (# 2019M660522 awarded to the first author). We owe special thanks to the teacher and students for their creative work enabling this research, and to Dr. Mei-Hwa Chen and her team for their work on software development. We also extend our gratitude to the editors and reviewers who provided constructive feedback and suggestions. Part of the analysis was presented at the International Conference of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (2015, Gothenburg, Sweden).
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Tao, D., Zhang, J. Agency to transform: how did a grade 5 community co-configure dynamic knowledge building practices in a yearlong science inquiry?. Intern. J. Comput.-Support. Collab. Learn 16, 403–434 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11412-021-09353-7
- Epistemic agency
- Knowledge building
- Opportunistic collaboration
- Reflective structuration
- Socially shared regulation
- Transformative CSCL