Strategies to facilitate the exchange on the cultural traditions between students of different countries in a KBC perspective
Stefano Cacciamani, University of Valle d'Aosta, Italy; Christine Hamel, Laval University, Canada; Idalisa Cingolani, Instituto Comprensivo G. Cingolani, Italy; Geneviève Séguin & Danièle Besner, Commission scolaire des Laurentides, Canada.
The main goal of this pilot study was to identify the strategies developed by teachers to facilitate the exchange on the cultural traditions among students of different countries in a Knowledge Building Community perspective (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2006).
Three different classrooms with children from 6, 7 to 8 years old participated in the Knowledge Building activity. Two were from Quebec, composed by 20 (8 males and 12 females) and 14 (9 males and 5 females) children and one classroom from Italy, composed by 19 children (8 males and 11 female) were involved in an activity oriented to study the Christmas tradition in each country. The main goal of the classroom learning activity was to identify similarities and differences between the two different cultures. Two tools used were Knowledge Forum and Via. The activity has been implemented with reference to the Knowledge Building Community model as an inquiry about their own tradition to create exchanges among the students as a strategy to develop their global awareness competency, which is an important component of 21st century skills and abilities? (see http://www.21stcenturyskills.org).
At the end of the activity the teachers where interviewed on three main areas of the project, to understand what were the strategies of the teachers to work in remote collaboration around a common subject with pupils in very low age. The tree main areas were 1) the strategies used to organize the activity in each classroom; 2) the strategies used to support the exchange via Knowledge Forum, and 3) the strategies used to support the final videoconference.
The text of interview was analysed using a Grounded Theory methodological approach (Glaser & Strauss, 1967).
The results show a series of strategies organised in the following structures:
Implications of the results to design KBC in classrooms for collaboration among students of different countries are discussed such as the importance of flexibility in the design of the learning activity as a way to take into account emergent elements in the students' progressive discourse about cultural element.