Scripted and Unscripted Aspects of Creative Work with Knowledge (invited symposium)

Carl Bereiter, Frank Fisher, Kai Hakkarainen, Marlene Scardamalia

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In their original formulation of the idea of scripts, Schank and Abelson (1977) defined them as recurrent, conventional, predictable, and relatively fixed patterns of behavior. Early educational applications of scripts stayed close to this conception, emphasizing roles and prescribed behavior associated with those roles (O'Donnell, Dansereau, & Rocklin, 1987). The prescriptive nature of such scripting seemed to put it at odds with constructivist educational approaches that place a premium on student epistemic agency, exploration, and explanation or theory building. In more recent developments, however, concepts of scripts and scripting have broadened to encompass much of what more open educational approaches espouse. In one formulation, “internal scripts” are taken to include small, reusable pieces of procedural knowledge that can be assembled into novel wholes, more or less like reusable pieces of computer code (Fischer, Kollar, Stegmann, & Wecker, 2013). However, “external scripts,” as used in a variety of applications, continue to have a prescriptive character (King, 2007). Clearly, the relation between scripting and knowledge construction needs to be examined anew. The self-organizing character of thought and action scarcely entered the discourse of 30 years ago, but it is now a fundamental conception. At the same time, refinements in ways of supporting collaborative knowledge construction and problem solving have cast down on the old antinomies regarding structure and control.The purpose of this symposium is to have a constructive discussion focused on two educational approaches that from some standpoints are poles apart but that from another viewpoint may be seen as compatible variations within a common applied epistemological framework. The two approaches are scripting, as represented in “Collaboration Scripts in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning” (Fischer, Kollar, Stegmann, Wecker, & Zottmann, 2013), and Knowledge Building, as represented in “Knowledge Building: Theory, Pedagogy, and Technology” (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2014). At a minimum the symposium should clarify similarities and differences, providing a firmer conceptual foundation for future research. Hopefully the symposium will go beyond this in the direction of integrative solution of long-standing differences.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2017
EventComputer Supported Collaborative Learning 2017 - University of Pennsylvania, Philapelphia, United States
Duration: 19 Jun 201724 Jun 2017


ConferenceComputer Supported Collaborative Learning 2017
Abbreviated titleCSCL2017
CountryUnited States

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences

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