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This study looks into the reading practice in a Grade 4 knowledge building community that involved 22 students and a veteran teacher. The students investigated light over a threemonth period supported by Knowledge Forum, a networked collaborative knowledge-building environment. The classroom designs encouraged the students to take on high-level responsibility for advancing the community’s knowledge, as represented in their online discourse in Knowledge Forum. The tracing of student conversations in Knowledge Forum and content analysis of their portfolio notes demonstrate productive advancement of scientific understanding. Qualitative analyses of classroom videos, online discourse, and the teacher’s reflection journal characterize student reading practice along four themes: reading for the purpose of advancing community knowledge; as progressive problem solving; embedded in sustained knowledge-building discourse; and as dialogues between local understanding and knowledge in the larger world. These results contribute to elaborating the possibility and processes of integrating reading with creative knowledge work in content areas. Classroom strategies are identified and discussed in relation to the role of collaborative online technologies.


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