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Knowledge Sauna

The explorations of knowledge creation in Finland

1st Human Capital Potential (Human Capital Report 2016)
1st Student Learning  Efficiency (PISA 2015)
1st Education (Legatum Prosperity Index 2018)
1st Future Skills Education (Worldwide Educating for the Future Index 2018)
Behind the long list of No.1s indicating the high quality of the Education in Finland, there are many success factors. We'd like to focus on the researches and practices of Inquiry-based learning and knowledge creation that play an important role in the educational goals for 21st century competences like Thinking and learning to learn competence in Finnish National Core Curriculum, Critical thinking, Creativity, Communication and collaboration competencies in World Economic Form New Vision for Education framework and Learning and innovation skills in P21 framework.


Knowledge Creation Metaphor of Learning

The knowledge creation metaphor (Paavola et al. 2002, 2004; Hakkarainen et al. 2004) is a third main metaphor of learning becoming more and more important in modern society, besides the acquisition metaphor of learning and the participation metaphor of learning; a dichotomy suggested by Anna Sfard (1998).


Researches at University of Helsinki in Finland have proposed the term ‘trialogical’ (or ‘trialogic’) to refer to those processes where people are collaboratively and systematically developing shared, concrete “objects” together (Paavola & Hakkarainen 2005; Lakkala et al 2009).
The sources and bases for trialogical approach on learning include various models of “innovative knowledge communities” like Engeström’s model of expansive learning (Engeström 1987), Bereiters’s knowledge building (Scardamalia & Bereiter 1994; Bereiter 2002) from Canada, and Nonaka & Takeuchi’s theory of organizational knowledge creation from Japan.
The knowledge creation metaphor of learning and the trialogical learning are important part of the theoretical background for the KP-Lab project which is an EU-funded project involving 22 partners from 14 countries and coordinated by the University of Helsinki. The project focuses on studying learning practices in professional and educational environments and developing tools to support innovative practices of sharing, creating and working with knowledge.


Progressive Inquiry (PI-Model)

Relying on Kai Hakkarainen's doctoral thesis and other investigations, Centre for Research on Networked Learning and Knowledge Building at University of Helsinki has developed a pedagogical model of progressive inquiry learning (PI model). It is designed to facilitate engagement in an in-depth process of inquiry and expert-like working with knowledge that are essential for productive participation in knowledge society. The model is being implemented, tested and developed in various schools (Lipponen, 2000; Lonka Hakkarainen & Matti Sintonen 2000; Hakkarainen Bollström-Huttunen & Pyysalo 2003; Lakkala et al., 2005; Lakkala et al., 2007), other educational institutions (Lakkala et al., 2008; Muukkonen et al., 2005), and some workplaces.


The pedagogical ideas of progressive inquiry can be applied in ordinary educational settings in classrooms, but it is mainly designed for the context of Computer-supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL).
The pioneering implementation of CSCL by Scardamalia and Bereiter (1994), the Computer Supported Intentional Learning Environments (CSILE/Knowledge Forum), is a well-known example of an inquiry-based approach to technology-supported collaboration in education.
Since 1998, the Future Learning Environment (FLE) tools were funded by Tekes - the National Technology Agency of Finland. The project partners include Media Lab of the University of Art and Design Helsinki (coordinator), Centre for Research on Networked Learning and Knowledge Building in the Department of Psychology of the University of Helsinki, Finnish Ministry of Education, Finnish new media company Grey Interactive, Finnish teleoperator Sonera, and Finnish educational publisher Sanoma WSOY. 4 generations of the FLE had been developed until 2015 under Nordic Council of Ministers and EU projects coordinated by Media Lab of Aalto University in Finland (Leinonen & Muukkonen 1998; Leinonen, Kligyte, et.all 2003). It has been translated to more than 20 languages including most of the European languages and Chinese and used in more than 70 countries in all continents.
Comparing to CSILE/Knowledge Forum which is rooted as a classroom software with sophisticated authoring features, FLE is more agile and adaptable to various educational settings supporting a Lifelong Learning Society.


Paavola, S., Lipponen, L. & Hakkarainen, K. (2002) Epistemological Foundations for CSCL: A Comparison of Three Models of Innovative Knowledge Communities. In Gerry Stahl (ed.) Computer Support for Collaborative Learning: Foundations for a CSCL Community, Proceedings of: CSCL 2002 (January 7-11, 2002, Boulder, Colorado, USA). Distributed by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Hilldale, New Jersey, USA.

Paavola, S., Lipponen, L., & Hakkarainen, K. (2004). Models of Innovative Knowledge Communities and Three Metaphors of Learning. Review of Educational Research 74(4), 557-576.

Hakkarainen, K., Palonen, T., Paavola, S. & Lehtinen, E. (2004) Communities of networked expertise: Professional and educational perspectives. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Sfard, A. (1998). On two metaphors for learning and the dangers of choosing just one. Educational Researcher, 27(2), 4–13.

Paavola, S. & Hakkarainen, K. (2009). From meaning making to joint construction of knowledge practices and artefacts – A trialogical approach to CSCL. In C. O'Malley, D. Suthers, P. Reimann, & A. Dimitracopoulou (Eds.), Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Practices: CSCL2009 Conference Proceedings. (pp. 83-92). Rhodes, Creek: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) (draft available online).

Paavola, S. & Hakkarainen, K. (2005). The Knowledge Creation Metaphor – An Emergent Epistemological Approach to Learning. Science & Education 14(6), 535-557 (draft available online).

Lakkala, M., Paavola, S., Kosonen, K., Muukkonen, H., Bauters, M., & Markkanen, H. (2009). Main functionalities of the Knowledge Practices Environment (KPE) affording knowledge creation practices in education. In C. O'Malley, D. Suthers, P. Reimann, & A. Dimitracopoulou (Eds.), Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Practices: CSCL2009 Conference Proceedings (pp. 297-306). Rhodes, Creek: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) (draft available online).

Engeström, Y. (1987). Learning by expanding. Helsinki: Orienta-Konsultit.

Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (1994). Computer support for knowledge-building communities. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 3(3), 265–283.

Bereiter, C. (2002). Education and mind in the knowledge age. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.

Lonka, K., Hakkarainen, K., & Sintonen, M. (2000) Progressive inquiry learning for children –experiences, possibilities, limitations. European Early Childhood Education Association Journal,8, 7 -23.

Hakkarainen, K., Bollström-Huttunen, M., Pyysalo, R. (2003, April). From project learning to progressive inquiry. A poster presented at a symposium on title "International Design Principles for Knowledge Building: Innovative Learning processes in Knowledge-rich Interactive Environments", the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Chicago, USA.

Lipponen, L. (2000). Towards knowledge-building discourse: From facts to explanations in primary students' computer mediated discourse. Learning Environments Research, 3, 179–199.

Lakkala, M., Lallimo, J. and Hakkarainen, K. (2005) Teachers’ pedagogical designs for technology-supported collective inquiry: A national case study. Computers & Education, 45, 337–356. Available online

Lakkala, M., Ilomäki, L., & Palonen, T. (2007). Implementing virtual, collaborative inquiry practices in a middle school context. Behaviour & Information Technology, 26(1), 37–53. Available online

Lakkala, M., Muukkonen, H., Paavola, S., & Hakkarainen, K. (2008). Designing pedagogical infrastructures in university courses for technology-enhanced collaborative inquiry. Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, 3(1), 33-64. Available online

Muukkonen, Hanni & Lakkala, Minna & Hakkarainen, Kai. (2005). Technology-Mediated Progressive Inquiry in Higher Education

Hakkarainen, K., Lonka, K., and Lipponen, L. (1999). Tutkivaoppiminen: älykkään toiminnat rajat ja niiden ylittäminen [Progressive Inquiry: Overcoming Limitations of Human Intelligent Activity] (in Finnish). Helsinki: WSOY.

Hakkarainen, K., Lipponen, L., Ilomäki, L, Järvelä, S., Lakkala, M., Muukkonen, H., Rahikainen, M. & Lehtinen, E. (1999). Tieto- ja viestintätekniikka tutkivan oppimisen välineenä [Information and communication technology as a tool in progressive inquiry]. Helsingin kaupungin opetusvirasto. Helsinki: Multiprint.

Muukkonen, H., Hakkarainen, K. & Lakkala, M. (1999) Collaborative Technology for Facilitating Progressive Inquiry: The Future Learning Environment Tools. In C. Hoadley & J. Roschelle (Eds.) The proceedings of the CSCL ’99 conference, December 12-15, 1999, Palo Alto, pp. 406-415. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates.

Leinonen, T. & Muukkonen, H (1998). Future Learning Environment – Innovative Methods and Applications for Collaborative Learning. Arttu Magazine. Taideteollinen korkeakoulu 1998.

Leinonen, T., Kligyte, G. et.all (2003). Learning with Collaborative Software – A guide to Fle3. Helsinki, Taideteollinen korkeakoulu 2003. ISBN 951-558-127-3. Translated to Italian and Spanish.

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