Carl Bereiter

Carl Bereiter
University of Toronto | U of T · Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development

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168
Publications
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (168)
Article
This paper examines the alignment of education with the needs for knowledge creation in the digital age using the Knowledge Building model and Knowledge Forum® technology. Knowledge Building is akin to knowledge creation as practiced in research laboratories and other frontier-advancing organizations, with added focus on value to the individual, co...
Preprint
Full-text available
A complex systems approach to education for creativity is needed in order to bring real-world knowledge creation into the classroom. One result is to elevate the role of knowledge in education for creative thinking. Three knowledge constructs important in real-world knowledge creation but neglected in education are knowledge as artifactual, knowled...
Chapter
Knowledge Building is a SMART pedagogy that encourages students to take collective responsibility for knowledge advancement; Knowledge Forum technology is designed to support them in this work. This study explores the application of a new method to assess the emergence and evolution of collective cognitive responsibility (CCR) based on peer valuati...
Chapter
Full-text available
Advances in scripting theory and advances in support for student-driven knowledge construction call for a reconsideration of long-standing issues of guidance, control, and agency. This symposium undertakes a fresh analysis based on the relations between two widely adopted approaches that may be poles apart but arguably viewed as variations within a...
Chapter
Knowledge building/knowledge creation involves exploring idea landscapes, crisscrossing them in every direction to learn one’s way around. Through pursuit of multiple and intersecting rather than prescribed paths, knowledge creators come to feel at home in a conceptual environment, able to pursue promising ideas, redirect work based on advances and...
Article
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Evaluating promisingness of ideas is an important but underdeveloped aspect of knowledge building. The goal of this research was to examine the extent to which Grade 3 students could make promisingness judgments to facilitate knowledge-building discourse. A Promising Ideas Tool was added to Knowledge Forum software to better support knowledge‐build...
Article
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This research explores the ability of grade 2 students to engage in productive discussion about the state of their knowledge building using group-level feedback tools to support their metadiscourse. Two aspects of knowledge work were common to the comparison and experimental classes: “Knowledge Building talk” (KB talk) involving teacher-student dis...
Chapter
Education now functions in an open informational world in which there are essentially no boundaries constraining the information that may be brought to bear on any topic, question, or activity. Changes in the form and connectedness of information are giving rise to new issues concerning coherence, sustained work with ideas, and complexity. In place...
Article
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Learning technology periodically undergoes changes in response to changes in the prevailing models of human cognition and learning. A major shift throughout the behavioral sciences that began in the 1980s is beginning to have effects at the level of classroom learning and its supportive technologies. Inspired by complexity theory, it is a shift tha...
Article
"Practicality Studies" (Janssen, Westbroek, & Doyle, 2015/this issue) starts with a critical commentary on "Principled Practical Knowledge: Not a Bridge but a Ladder" (Bereiter, 2014) but consists in the main of an essay on what the authors consider to be really practical knowledge for teachers. The gist of their criticism is that "Bereiter and wit...
Chapter
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) ou...
Article
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Se analizan dos modelos de los procesos de composición escrita Decir el conocimiento y Transformar el conocimiento con el propósito de captar las diferencias esenciales entre escritores expertos y novatos. La idea básica que subyace a estos modelos es que la principal diferencia entre los procesos de composición de expertos y novatos radica en la m...
Book
The subject of this book is the mental activities that go into composing written texts. For brevity we will often refer to the subject simply as writing, but the term should not be taken too literally. In this book we are not concerned with the physical act of writing, except insofar as it influences other processes. The mental activities of writin...
Article
Full-text available
Sometime in the second half of the 20th century, “teach them to think” became “teach them thinking skills.” Correspondingly, knowledge became no longer an inseparable part of ability to think but only material for thinking skills to work upon. Empirical claims for the existence and teachability of “higher-order skills” are weak and confuse skills w...
Article
The much-lamented gap between theory and practice in education cannot be filled by practical knowledge alone or by explanatory knowledge alone. Principled practical knowledge (PPK) is a type of knowledge that has characteristics of both practical know-how and scientific theory. Like basic scientific theory, PPK meets standards of explanatory cohere...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The ability to identify promising ideas is an important but obscure and undeveloped aspect of knowledge building. The goal of this research was to examine the extent to which young students can make promisingness judgments and, as a result, engage in more effective knowledge building. Toward this end we embedded a design experiment in a Grade 3 cla...
Article
Although learning with understanding has been recognized as essential to quality learning across the curriculum, it has been less extensively studied in the humanities and social studies than in the natural sciences. This chapter examines differences in what constitutes understanding in history, social studies, and literature, but also elaborates o...
Article
Full-text available
"知识建构"(Knowledge Building)理论是多伦多大学安大略教育研究院Marlene Scardamalia和Carl Bereiter两位教授于上世纪90年代提出的建构主义理论。在历经20多年的发展之后,其理论、教学法和技术手段已自成体系。知识建构理论认为:一般的建构主义教学以完成一系列任务和活动为导向,学生对为什么进行这些活动缺乏理解和掌控,属于"浅层"建构主义;而知识建构理论推崇的是"深层"建构,它以发展学习社区内的公共知识为目标,学生是积极的认知者,须共同承担认知责任。知识建构的基本观点被概括为12条基本原则,用作设计教学法和开发技术工具的基础。知识建构理论与实践已波及包括加拿大、美国、西班牙、新加坡和香港等18个国家和地区,涉及中小学科学、数学、社会、历史等多个学科教...
Article
Full-text available
Causal explanation is an essential part of both science and history. This means that a large part of knowledge in these areas only becomes useful to the extent that one understands how facts are connected causally. Assuming that most explaining is done interactively—that is, through dialogue—this research focuses on kinds of contributions students...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Knowledge creation requires identifying and pursuing promising ideas—ideas that in their nascent form may not seem like much but that with development could grow into something big. The goal of our research is to develop a tool to explore the concept of promisingness and "big ideas," especially elementary school students' ability to make "promising...
Article
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This paper examines theoretical, pedagogical, and technological differences between two technologies that have been used in undergraduate interprofessional health sciences at the University of Toronto. One, a learning management system, WebCT 2.0, supports online coursework. The other, a Knowledge Building environment, Knowledge Forum 2.0, supports...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge Building as a theoretical, pedagogical, and technological innovation focuses on the 21st century need to work creatively with knowledge. The team now advancing Knowledge Building spans multiple disciplines, sectors, and cultural contexts. Several teacher-researcher-government partnerships have formed to bring about the systemic changes re...
Article
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Can children genuinely create new knowledge, as opposed to merely carrying out activities that resemble those of mature scientists and innovators? The answer is yes, provided the comparison is not to works of genius but to standards that prevail in ordinary research communities. One important product of knowledge creation is concepts and tools that...
Article
Full-text available
In 1993 Carey and Smith conjectured that the most promising way to boost students’ understanding of the nature of science is a “theory-­‐building approach to teaching about inquiry.” The research reported here tested this conjecture by comparing results from two Grade 4 classrooms that differed in their emphasis on and technological support for cre...
Article
Although the Wright Brothers are most famous for achieving the first successful manned powered flight, their innovation that had a revolutionary effect on airplane design was a plane capable of making banked turns. Yet this appears to have been an unintended by-product of their effort to maximize control, in contrast to the efforts of competitors t...
Article
Teaching "scientific method" has long been a regular part of science education, and many curriculum standards call for it. But it has run into a variety of criticisms, which add up to the charge that it conveys an unrealistic and unappealing view of science. In this article, the authors discuss how science really works and provide different ways to...
Article
This chapter focuses on defining and exploring the area of research-based innovation in education. The authors provide an overview of several new approaches of research-based innovation in the learning sciences, and propose five dimensions of comparing other educational approaches to their own approach of Knowledge Building.
Chapter
The term "learning" has always covered a wide range of phenomena-from schoolchildren learning their multiplication tables to deans learning that their budgets have been cut. Suddenly, in just the last few years, the range has gotten much wider-by orders of magnitude, it seems. We now have learning corporations, even learning societies, institutiona...
Chapter
There are substantial similarities between deep learning and the processes by which knowledge advances in the disciplines. During the 1960s efforts to exploit these similarities gave rise to learning by discovery, guided discovery, inquiry learning, and Science: A Process Approach (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1967). Since t...
Article
This chapter deals with recent efforts to reshape teaching and instruction in response to perceived new needs arising from a shift from a manufacturing-based to a knowledge-based economy. Accordingly, it does not deal with models of teaching and instruction in general or with such perennial concerns as the teaching of basic academic skills and cont...
Chapter
A web search on the phrase “technology and literacy” will locate thousands of documents, almost all of which deal with “technological literacy” or ways of integrating technology into literacy instruction. Except for vague and optimistic pronouncements, there is very little about what technology can contribute to literacy development and almost noth...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter focuses on how schools could function as places where students become proficient in all aspects of knowledge, including its creation. Traditional forms of knowledge are inadequate because they are based on “mental filing cabinets”. New conceptions are based on enabling learners to construct knowledge drawing on a range of information e...
Article
The rising societal interest in innovation and knowledge creation has caught the behavioural sciences, and educational psychology in particular, unprepared. We know quite a bit about knowledge acquisition, but even such modern approaches as constructivism and situated cognition fail to address what, if anything, is distinctive about individuals and...
Article
The term "knowledge building" has come into fairly widespread use in both the knowledge management literature and education (~45,000 Google references at this writing). If we take as a starting point for discussion that something very like knowledge building does occur, at least in the sciences, if not in education, the question arises, what are th...
Book
Networked learning is learning in which information and communications technology (ICT) is used to promote connections: between one learner and other learners; between learners and tutors; between a learning community and its learning resources. Networked learning is an area which has great practical and theoretical importance. It is a rapidly grow...
Article
Full-text available
Two of the most important influences on educational planning today are what for want of an established name I will call the futuristic business literature and the work coming out of cognitive science, broadly defined. There are, of course, many other influences, often from groups with a concern for some particular subject or aspect of schooling. Bu...
Article
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Although there is innovation in education it tends to be sporadic and discontinuous, with the result that innovative practices seldom win out against those with a long evolutionary history. Factors contributing to this condition include the difficulty of envisioning the human consequences of innovations and the predominance of research models that...
Article
Dean Keith Simonton. (1999). Origins of genius: Darwinian perspectives on creativity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0–19–512879–6
Article
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Postmodernist challenges to the status of science and scientific knowledge have intensified concerns about how these topics should be treated in schools. Science, we argue, need not be presented either as a grand march toward Truth or as a body of dubious opinions and practices. Instead, it may be presented as a continuing effort to improve on exis...
Article
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This study examined how individuals and peers process scientific information that contradicts what they believe and assessed the contribution of this activity to conceptual change. Participants included 54 students in Grade 9 and 54 students in Grade 12, who were randomly assigned to four conditions: (a) individual conflict, (b) peer conflict, (c)...
Article
The central purpose of computer-supported intentional learning environments (CSILE) is to make knowledge building an integral part of schooling. In order for this to occur, the character of classroom discourse needs to undergo radical change. CSILE has been designed as a computer-supported environment in which collaborative discourse is the primary...
Article
Computer-Supported Intentional Learning Environments (CSILE) is a database system in which learners collaboratively construct the knowledge represented in the database. This study examined how students in a grade 5–6 classroom built their classroom database on a science topic, electricity, and differences in activities between high-and low-conceptu...
Article
Toronto is creating a miniature knowledge-building society, using Computer Supported Intentional Learning Environment (CSILE) software. Part of the Canada-wide TeleLearning Network of Centres of Excellence, CSILE links diverse participants, including schoolchildren and parents; teacher education and medical students; museum, engineering, science ce...
Article
In schools, discourse usually plays a part in the constructive process. We have been developing and experimenting with Computer Supported Intentional Learning Environments (CSILE) that combine the educational advantages of collective discourse with the tactical advantages of individual written and graphic work. In this paper we track three successi...
Article
Full-text available
Postmodernism's rejecting of the possibility of an objective stance has led some educators to begin treating scientific knowledge as merely a matter of elite consensus ("Most scientists believe that."). Objectivity, I argue, is not an essential claim of science, but progress is. Whether theory B is an improvement over theory A is a question that ca...
Article
In this article we focus on educational ideas and enabling technology for knowledge-building discourse. The conceptual bases of computer-supported intentional learning environments (CSILE) come from research on intentional learning, process aspects of expertise, and discourse in knowledge-building communities. These bases combine to support the fol...
Article
The author completes theInterchange symposium on Referent-Centred and Problem-Centred Knowledge: Elements of an Educational Epistemology by responding to the commentaries of Paul Thagard, Stellan Ohlsson, and Francis Schrag.
Article
Three studies investigated the ability of elementary school children to ask and recognize educationally productive questions. Knowledge-based questions formulated in advance of instruction were found to be of a higher order than text-based questions produced after exposure to text materials. Depending on familiarity of the topic, knowledge-based qu...
Article
This study examined the constructive cognitive activity of children listening to text and assessed the contribution of this activity to learning. Informative statements were read to 109 children (in grades 1 to 6) who were asked to think aloud about each statement. Analysis of the protocols led to a scale identifying five levels of constructive act...
Article
Two distinguishable kinds of knowledge are (1) knowledge organized around referents and (2) knowledge organized around problems. This is a different distinction from that between declarative and procedural knowledge and, it is argued, a more important one for educational design. Schooling, whether traditional or progressivist, has tended to emphasi...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we present results from classroom uses of Computer Supported Intentional Learning Environments (CSILE) which has functioned as a central, cross-curricular knowledge medium in four elementary classes, spanning Grades 1 through 6. Discussions of the theory and design principles guiding CSILE development have been provided elsewhere (S...
Article
Conscious, cooperative development of shared knowledge is the focus of the CSILE (Computer Supported Intentional Learning Environments) project. Results to date, both from our own work and from similarly-motivated work, convince us that elementary school students can profitably make knowledge construction the focus of their efforts, although it is...
Chapter
Teachers using CSILE, a networked hypermedia system with a student-constructed communal database, evolved two distinct models of use, an Independent Research model and a Collaborative Knowledge-Building model. The Collaborative model showed superior gains in knowledge quality, the Independent model, superior gains in vocabulary. Regression analyses...
Article
Sixteen adult volunteers provided thinking-aloud protocols while undergoing a 10-hr individually administered course in BASIC (beginner's all-purpose symbolic instruction code) programming. Three levels of goals were identified as operative in the learning situation: task-completion goals, instructional goals, and personal knowledge-building goals....
Article
The purpose of educational microworlds, broadly conceived, is to permit focused learning of a part within a context that preserves essential characteristics of the whole. We investigated a microworld intended to provide opportunities for more focused learning of reading comprehension strategies than are provided by normal text reading. The microwor...
Article
Although the “new connectionism” is causing a great stir in cognitive science and artificial intelligence, it has been difficult for people outside these fields to grasp. Through use of a concrete analogy, this article attempts to provide a nontechnical explanation of what connectionism is like and to show how it constitutes a radical alternative t...
Article
Although adults and children both have zones of proximal development in which more knowledgeable others play essential roles, there is a difference in executive control that is most salient in question-answer dialogue. Adult learners typically ask questions based on their perceived knowledge needs, whereas with school children, questions are typica...
Article
Contemporary cognitive science has created the possibility of an educational learning theory closely related to existing cognitive theories but operative at a higher level of description. Issues that must be addressed in developing such a theory are: How much of the external world should be included in cognitive descriptions, how to avoid degenerat...
Article
Full-text available
CSILE, which stands for Computer-Supported Intentional Learning Environments, is an educational knowledge media system. CSILE allows information in several media (text, drawings, graphs, timelines, etc.) to be entered into a common database where it is available to be retrieved, linked, commented on, rated, and so forth. The environments and operat...
Article
This study explored the effectiveness of using a cognitively based approach to remediating the reading disability of a third?grade student. In particular, it investigated the effect of helping the student develop an ?intentional? approach to his own learning through acquiring insight into his own reading strategies. Both the procedures used and the...
Article
Two experiments were conducted. In the first, thinking-aloud protocols were collected from students in Grades 4, 6, and 8 and from adults who were planning an argument essay. Older writers constructed more sophisticated main points and took longer. Protocols revealed six types of problem-solving moves which a path analysis showed could account for...

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Projects (2)
Project
The purpose of the project is to investigate the potential of digital technology to help students advance their collective cognitive understanding of literacy and numeracy. By building on improvement efforts already in progress, we focus on the advancement of students' collective understanding through the implementation of Knowledge Building pedagogy and technology in Ontario classrooms.