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Towards an idea-centered, principle-based design approach to support learning as knowledge creation

Abstract

While the importance of viewing learning as knowledge creation is gradually recognized (Paavola et al. Computer-supported collaborative learning: foundations for a CSCL community 2002; Rev Educ Res 74:557–576 2004), an important question remains to be answered—what represents an effective instructional design to support collaborative creative learning? This paper argues for the need to move away from efficiency-oriented instructional design to innovation-oriented instructional design if learning as knowledge creation is to be pursued as an important instructional goal. The rationale in support of this argument is discussed from four different theoretical perspectives and an idea-centered, principle-based design approach as an example is proposed for discussion.

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Notes

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    Throughout this article, knowledge creation is conceptualized not so much from an outcome perspective but from a process perspective. As argued by Amabile (1983), if learners are not following a well-known path to solution, but instead are attempting to create the path to the solution, they are engaged in a creative process. As such, it does not really matter whether the knowledge created is genuinely new to a discipline (e.g. a new scientific theory) or only new to the learners’ immediate community (see also Beghetto and Kaufman 2007); the learners are still engaging in knowledge creation.

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Acknowledgments

The preparation of this paper was supported in part by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Grant 512-2002-1016. We extend special thanks to the students, teachers, and principal of the Institute of Child Study, University of Toronto, for their creative work and for the research opportunities enabled by it. We also extend our thanks to the editor and three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

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Correspondence to Huang-Yao Hong.

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Hong, HY., Sullivan, F.R. Towards an idea-centered, principle-based design approach to support learning as knowledge creation. Education Tech Research Dev 57, 613 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-009-9122-0

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Keywords

  • Knowledge building
  • Knowledge creation
  • Principle-based design
  • Idea-centered design
  • Idea improvement
  • Community knowledge
  • Instructional design