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Michael D. Eisner College of Education

California Science Project

Team Knowledge-Building Rubric (Cycle A-2)


4 3 2 1
A rich list of questions (profound and trivial) with contributions from each participating team member. Each participating member contributes a variety of questions to the list. Question list contains a variety of questions. Question list is 5-6 questions in one or two categories.
Multiple perspectives on each question
Multiple perspectives are weighed as members begin to answer questions. Different perspectives emerge as most members begin to answer most team questions.
More than one perspective is apparent as some members begin to answer some team questions.
Individual perspectives remain separate since individual members answer only their own questions.
Support for Answers
Answers are partially supported and the kind of evidence needed to support them is described. Answers are partially supported with evidence from experience, prior research or reading. Answers are supportable. Only answers are given, without reasons.
List what needs to be done
A thorough investigation is planned and described with individual roles, types of resources and expected outcomes. An investigation that builds on itself with ways for team members to share as they do research, not just at the end. A list of tasks with roles and  expectations is given. The questions are divided up to be answered by different group members.
Creation of problem statement
A problem statement is described with an explanation about why it is important to the scenario. A problem statement is discussed in terms of how it addressesnthe scenario. A problem statement is accepted and an explanation is given for choosing this statement over others. A problem statement is suggested and accepted without considering other options.



Build ESS knowledge as a team about the event described in the scenario.


While Piaget helps us to understand that we are not blank slates, but rather creatures with rich and complex understandings that we construct and reconstruct, a Russian psychologist, Lev Vygotsky, helps us to understand how learning together brings those personal understandings out in the open and helps us evolve them.

Since we have our own personal, unexamined understandings, we need opportunities to make them visible and to examine them. Vygotsky found that we evolve our understandings when we communicate them to others, and they respond with their own understandings, connections to what they know, and feedback about what they believe—a kind of mirroring. These interactions provide a safe and yet challenging environment, in which everyone is saying what they think they understand, and at the same time looking for evidence to support or refute that understanding. The goal is knowledge-building through considering different perspectives.

To begin knowledge-building you need to know what you know and what you want to know--your questions. Work with your team to create a list of questions.

In the typical "go find out about it" method, learners are familiar with a traditional, formal, linear classroom approach where they find answers to questions posed by the teacher. This knowledge acquisition is teacher-directed and limited to what the teacher asks. The knowledge-building in this course is based on your questions and is limited only by your curiosity. In working together to develop a shared understanding, teammates:

* value multiple perspectives
* ask each other for evidence for their ideas
* provide evidence
* actively make connections among the ideas
* share responsibility for regularly summarizing information
* generate more questions from team discussions

These are the signs of a successful knowledge-building community at work.

The goal of knowledge-building in this course is not to find only the "right" answer, but rather answers that are most supportable with evidence. The evidence needs to support the answers and the answers need to explain the evidence.

Team knowledge-building results in more thoughtful answers, more powerful questions, and more confidence by individual members in their ideas.

Based on your questions, you and your team will determine "what you need to know" and will develop a problem statement to focus your thinking toward making your recommendations or solutions for the problem described in the scenario. Remember to post in your course discussion space any new resources that are worthy of sharing as you come across them. Your team assignment will be assessed according to the rubric below, so you may want to refer to it while you are doing your assignment.

Team knowledge-building results in more thoughtful answers, more powerful questions, and more confidence by individual members in their ideas. Your teamwork in this cycle corresponds to PBL Steps 4, 5, and 6. The rubric below assesses how well you do PBL Steps 4 and 5 in your effort to build knowledge as a team. PBL Step 6 is to develop a problem statement, which is a natural outcome of the work you do in Steps 4 and 5.