Knights of Knowledge
Inquiry starters across the curriculum
Contact us: email@example.com
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?"
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?
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?
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
Q: What grades do you reach?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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
Q; What is the server version and why should I want it?
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?
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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.