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Research Projects in Secondary Schools

At secondary level, we have been launching two research and development projects: "Investigating the formation of knowledge-building communities with technology support", supported and funded by the Research Grants Council (RGC), and "Hubs schools for establishing knowledge building communities", supported and funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC), both from 2001-2003. With the integration of a web discussion platform called 'Knowledge Forum' (KF) into secondary school curriculum, these projects hope to enhance students' knowledge-building capacity and critical thinking abilities.

There are two modes of activities in the project, and school can choose to start in either of the two modes.

1. To support collaborative exploration and building of knowledge in conjunction with the subject-based teaching in schools. In this case, KF can be used as an adjutant teaching and learning tool in class, providing a useful ground for students to discuss, synthesize and analyze information, and to further their explanation and understanding of specific topics in the school curriculum.

2. To support collaborative learning through project-based work. KF facilitates students to operate in knowledge-building teams and to promote the development of collaborative enquiry abilities.

Support to be provided by CITE: Continuous support in the form of training workshops for teachers' and students' concerning the use of KF will be provided by our centre. Professional support regarding on the functional use of KF and technical problems encountered by schools will also be furnished. The centre will monitor and support the knowledge-building processes, and manage the accumulating knowledge trees if necessary.

Expected commitment from schools: The centre expects that KF can be integrated into the school curriculum in at least one subject area. More involvements are welcome, depending on the specific context of the schools involved. The main use of KF would be to support existing curricular plans and the actual use of KF by students will mostly take place outside of class hours. Schools and students are also encouraged to use KF outside the classrooms especially during free time. In order to explore the dimensions of KF applications and learn more about the process involved in supporting knowledge building by students, the research team will conduct participant observation in class, videotape the lessons, carry out interviews with teachers and students and so on, upon approval of school. Participating schools will also be invited to the face-to-face seminars held in early February and June to share their valuable teaching and learning experience with the application of KF.

   Quality Education Fund (QEF), Research Grants Council (RGC) & University Grants Committee (UGC) 
CITE, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
E-mail: lcp @cite.hku.hk Tel: (852) 28578540 / 22415325 Fax: (852) 25177194
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