Knowledge Building (KB) Symposium
Wednesday, 07 February 2018
The Knowledge Building (KB) Symposium 2017 was held on 20 November at Haig Girls’ School. It was a successful event with extensive reach involving students, teachers and school leaders from a number of local primary and secondary schools and tertiary institutions.
The symposium was commenced by Dr Teo Chew Lee, Senior Research Scientist from NIE, and graced by guest-of-honour Dr Eddy Lee, visiting consultant to NIE. Dr Lee shared his insights and perspectives on various aspects of knowledge building. He also moved around the different sessions and activities and engaged in dynamic dialogue with the participants.
Student activities - the highlight of the symposium
The highlight of the symposium was the student-activity session, where students were given the opportunity to engage in some hands-on activities planned by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) around the topic of “Green Buildings and Green Living”. They were divided into groups to investigate light, energy and water consumption at different parts of the school using the appropriate gadgets and recording their findings thereafter.
These findings were taken back to the classroom, analyzed and shared with the rest of the group on an online discussion forum called the Knowledge Forum. They were developing new explanations on ‘sustainable world’ based on the different recommendations proposed by the students. Although the students’ ages ranged from Primary 3 to Secondary 3 and were from different schools, they were able to work together effectively and quickly started catching and building on one another’s ideas.
The school leaders’ session (Concurrent session 1) was very well-received and stood out as one of our breakthroughs for this KB Symposium. School leaders unanimously shared about how KB has been promoting a culture for learning and innovation, symmetrical experiences where teachers collaborate as curriculum innovation designers and self-directed learners to model to students to learn, collaborate, innovate and be self-directed learners too.
There were also poster presentations conducted in different sessions by school leaders, teachers and students. Participants walked around the rooms and viewed these in a gallery-style, and engaged in dialogue with the presenters to clarify questions that piqued their curiosity. The poster sessions offered a panoramic view of various topics from both the lens of the students as well as educators, and complemented one another to bring out different perspectives of the practice.
Interactions and discussions generated
The symposium greatly encouraged interaction, dialogue and a vast and effective exchange of knowledge. Enforcing the idea that knowledge building is indeed a process of creating new knowledge of 21st century teaching and learning by everyone in the community— from students to teachers to middle managers to researchers to school leaders. The symposium itself was the ideal epitome of a knowledge-building classroom, and all participants were inspired and empowered as a result of it.