Pedagogical Transformation and Teacher Learning for Knowledge Building: Turning COVID-19 Challenges into Opportunities


  • Chew Lee Teo National Institute of Education, Singapore
  • Seng Chee Tan National Institute of Education, Singapore
  • Carol Chan Hong Kong University, China



knowledge-building community, discourse, teacher professional development, knowledge building classroom


This paper reports on the continual effort of the Knowledge Building Community (KBC) connecting teachers within and across schools for knowledge creation and community building during the COVID-19 disruptions. During this crisis, schools around the world are challenged with the issues of implementing online learning. Three areas of misalignment were identified: disjoint in learning with home-school separation, piecemeal technologies to mimic physical teaching, and disconnect between teacher professional development and classroom practices and we discussed emerging realignment efforts for transformative learning. Through analyzing the three case examples of how teachers responded to COVID-19 challenges in inter-related areas of curriculum, pedagogy, technology and community, we identified several themes on emerging alignments conducive for transformative pedagogy and technology through community advancement. These themes include: innovating practice around the centrality of ideas; perceiving knowledge building as pervasive; transformative use of technology, and symmetrical advancement of knowledge. These case examples show that in these disruptive times, the teachers were more actively building new practices supported by community dynamics and systemic processes of the KBC.  Consequently, the interactions between stakeholders shifted from disjointed relations in different hierarchical levels to a networked community of people, ideas, and resources, and teachers continually advancing their knowledge-building practice in these challenging times.

Author Biographies

Chew Lee Teo, National Institute of Education, Singapore

Chew Lee, Teo is a Senior Research Scientist at the Center of Research in Pedagogy and Practice, National Institute of Education, Singapore. She is currently the Programme Director of Learning Sciences & Innovation and has been working on Knowledge Building pedagogy and technology since her earlier days as a school teacher.

Seng Chee Tan, National Institute of Education, Singapore

Seng Chee, Tan is an Associate Professor with the Learning Sciences and Assessment academic group, National Institute of Education, Singapore. He is also the Associate Dean, Graduate Education by Research. His research interests include integration of technologies in education, Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, knowledge building, and adult learning.

Carol Chan, Hong Kong University, China

Carol Chan is the Honorary Professor and Research Leader at the Human Communication, Development, and Information Sciences in Hong Kong University. Her area of expertise includes Knowledge Building; Learning Sciences; Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning; Cognition, Learning and Instruction.


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