The latest issue of the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology focuses on knowledge building, a critical component of online discussions.

From the editorial by Michele Jacobsen:

Marlene Scardamalia and Carl Bereiter… define the construct of Knowledge Building as having several characteristics that distinguish it from constructivist learning in general. Two key characteristics of Knowledge Building are intentionality and community knowledge. Intentionality captures that people engaged in knowledge building know they are doing it and that advances in knowledge are purposeful. Community knowledge captures that while learning is a personal matter, knowledge building is done for the benefit of the community. Scardamalia and Bereiter emphasize that in contrast to being spontaneous, a knowledge building culture requires a supportive learning environment and teacher effort and artistry to create and maintain a community devoted to ideas and to idea improvement.


Editorial/Éditorial : A Special Issue of the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology on Knowledge Building, by/par Michele Jacobsen

A Brief History of Knowledge Building, by/par Marlene Scardamalia and/et Carl Bereiter

Knowledge Building and Mathematics: Shifting the Responsibility for Knowledge Advancement and Engagement, by/par Joan Moss and/et Ruth Beatty

Developing Deep Understanding and Literacy while Addressing a Gender-Based Literacy Gap, by/par Yanqing Sun, Jianwei Zhang, Marlene Scardamalia

Social Network Analysis to Examine Interaction Patterns in Knowledge-Building Communities, by/par Donald N. Philip

Partnerships for Knowledge Building: An Emerging Model, by/par Thérèse Laferrière, Mireia Montané, Begona Gros, Isabel Alvarez, Merce Bernaus, Alain Breuleux, Stephane Allaire, Christine Hamel & Mary Lamon

Knowledge Society Network: Toward a Dynamic, Sustained Network for Building Knowledge, by/par Huang-Yao Hong, Marlene Scardamalia, Jianwei Zhang

Understanding the nature of science and scientific progress: A theory-building approach, by/par Maria Chuy, Marlene Scardamalia, Carl Bereiter, Fleur Prinsen, Monica Resendes, Richard Messina, Winifred Hunsburger, and/et Chris Teplovs

Early Development of Graphical Literacy through Knowledge Building, by/par Yongcheng Gan, Marlene Scardamalia, Huang-Yao Hong and/et Jianwei Zhang

Towards a Knowledge Building Community: From Guided- to Self-Organized Inquiry, by/par Stefano Cacciamani

Beyond Courseware: Designing for Collaborative Knowledge Building in Undergraduate Interprofessional Health Sciences Education, by/par Leila Lax, Marlene Scardamalia, Judy Watt-Watson, Peter Pennefather, Judith Hunter and/et Carl Bereiter

Conclusion/Conclusion–Can Children Create Knowledge? By/par Carl Bereiter and/et Marlene Scardamalia


  1. I think that this special issue on knowledge building (KB) may be quite important in clarifying how Carl Bereiter and Marlene Scardamalia define the concept, especially their emphasis that KB is very distinct from constructivism. Many who use the term KB have assumed that it was a type of constructivism—a better or more focused form of constructivism.
    This clarification of how Carl and Marlene view the concept is an important contribution to the debate or discussion of contemporary learning theory.


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