LogoKnights of Knowledge
Inquiry starters across the curriculum

Contact us: info@knights-of-knowledge.com

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Knights of KnowledgeTM Frequently Asked Questions:

Q:     What are the Knights of KnowledgeTM materials?
A:    The 
Knights of KnowledgeTM materials are a set of curricular videos across disciplines and grade levels that set the stage for student inquiry into an academic topic.  These materials are aligned with the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards.  They are designed to challenge students in ways that build their interest in subjects that is often missing in textbook-driven instruction.  Each video sets the stage for a single topic of inquiry that can last a week or two.  It is expected that students will do much of their work outside the classroom.  At the end of each project, students share their work with the teacher and their peers.

Q:    Who are the 
Knights of KnowledgeTM and why are they “secret?"
A:    Kids like to feel they are part of something special, so we created a fictional “secret society” whose past members included the best thinkers and problem solvers of all time.  Once they join, students are given challenges to solve.  We even can provide a special ceremony granting the title of Sir or Dame to each student as they join this organization.  Our motto is: in hoc signo vinces – by this sign you will be victorious.  In our case, the “sign” is the joining of  the Society. 

Q:    What subjects are covered?
A:    Our materials allow the exploration of multiple topics including: Art/Media, History, Social Studies, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Language Arts, among others.

Q:     I've been teaching these subjects for decades, why do I need the 
Knights of KnowledgeTM materials?
A:    While your content expertise will always be important, the new standards practically mandate a transformation away from a “noun-based” and toward a “verb-based” curriculum.  What students can memorize is not enough.  We are now required to help students create, define, design, and build on what they have learned to demonstrate their understanding of a subject area.  It is tremendously hard to change instructional practice overnight, and Knights of KnowledgeTM  materials help pave the way for deep pedagogical change.

Q:     What grades do you reach?
A:    We are designing projects for almost all grades, although students in earlier grades may need a bit of assistance from the teacher.

Q:     Why don't you provide the answers?
A:    We wouldn't give students a book of crossword puzzles with the answers filled in.  In our view, we don't have the right to steal from children the excitement that comes when they are able to solve a problem on their own.  In this sense, the 
Knights of KnowledgeTM  materials are like a Sudoku puzzle.  We provide just enough information to define the problem so it can be solved. Far from starting with a blank slate, we provide the framework for each challenge and then let the students work on their own solutions.

Q:    What is badging and how does it work?
A:    Many activities, from martial arts to scouting, involve the receipt of badges as a sign of achievement.  In our case, every learner is granted knighthood in the order from the very beginning.  On completion of five projects sent to us, the student is sent  certificate announcing “First Degree” membership, with the process continued for each five reviewed projects.

Q:    What other products and services do you provide?
A:    We have a full range of products and services ranging from inexpensive curriculum sets for the classroom to a wide variety of  staff development options designed to help teachers transform their practice in support of inquiry-driven project-based learning. We also can provide a formal initiation ceremony for groups of students who join the Society.  Contact us for details.

Q:    What is in the curriculum set?
A:    Each set of packaged materials contains fifty high quality cross-curricular project starter videos, background information of value to the teacher, as well as some suggestions on how to help kids who get stuck on any of the projects.  New curriculum sets will be produced on a regular basis as we add more projects to our collection.  Activities range from primary grades through high school.

Q;    What is the server version and why should I want it?
A:    While the curriculum pack is perfect for a single teacher, schools should consider getting the version that resides on the school's server.  This version allows students to see the videos on any device ranging from computers to smartphones.  All teacher support materials are made available to the entire faculty through the server as well.  In addition to other benefits, the server version is less expensive that purchasing a school full of curriculum sets.

Q:    What is your expertise in the area?
A:    The team behind these materials has decades of experience in inquiry-driven project-based learning across the curriculum and grade levels.  We have worked with both teachers and students, and one of us was on the review team for the final draft of the Next Generation Science Standards.  Our group includes two former principals, and two PhDs, one with an interdisciplinary PhD in several of the content areas.  We have consulted for schools all over the world, and some of our work in inquiry has been funded by the National Science Foundation.  We are frequent presenters at educational conferences throughout the country.

Q:    How can I learn how to bring the inquiry approach into my school?
A:    We conduct multi-day workshops that explore the nature of inquiry, the development of driving questions, and involve detailed practice in designing and creating your own inquiry-starters.  Contact us for details.

Q:    How can we share ideas and stay informed?
A:    Sign up for our user list at knights-of-knowledge+subscribe@googlegroups.com  You will get e-mails from other teachers using the materials with tips and suggestions, and you can provide your own insights to the group as well.  This group is a great place to make suggestions of academic topics for which you'd like to see projects.  Of course, we can be reached directly to arrange visits or provide full curriculum packages with teacher support materials.