Knowledge Building and Knowledge Creation: One Concept, Two Hills to Climb

Part of the Education Innovation Series book series (EDIN)


The terms “knowledge creation” and “knowledge building” represent the same core idea, an idea suggested by the conjunction of the words “creation” and “building”: Knowledge is the product of purposeful acts of creation and comes about through building up a structure of ideas (for instance, a design, a theory, or the solution of a thorny problem) out of simpler ideas. The knowledge creation/knowledge-building proposition is as follows: Student communities, like progressive organizations of all kinds, can go beyond using existing knowledge; they can create knowledge that enables them to progress. Doing this requires moving beyond education’s traditional concern with knowledge defined as “true and justified belief” and adopting an epistemology that treats knowledge as an emergent and improvable product of creative work with ideas. For students to carry out authentic knowledge creation, they need to approach ideas with the same “design thinking” mindset that characterizes knowledge work in innovative organizations of all sorts; they also need supportive knowledge-building communities and technologies to support progressive knowledge-creating discourse. This chapter ends with a challenge and proposed initiative to address that challenge: the challenge, to find a place for everyone in a knowledge-creating culture; the initiative, an international program of research and development with the mission of “building cultural capacity for innovation.”


Tacit Knowledge Knowledge Creation Design Mode Knowledge Building Knowledge Work 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Knowledge Innovation and Technology, Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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