Instructional Theory[1][1]. Team C


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Instructional Theory[1][1]. Team C

  1. 1. Instructional Behavior - Scaffolding Instructional Theory in Accordance with Scaffolding Models, Theories, and Instructional Strategies MTE/509 Penelope Thal, MAed Antanio Douglas, Laura Hoffmann, Trisha McDowell, Beth Miller 1
  2. 2. Instructional Behavior - Scaffolding Introduction Scaffolding is a tool useful in the educational field as a means to introduce a new concept to students. Through the use of scaffolding in relation to the various teaching strategies, instructors can plan a lesson that aides the students in learning, and allows them to build on the subject being taught. In order for this method to be useful, the teacher must be aware of when to begin removing the scaffolding tools. There are certain disadvantages to this method which should be addressed. However, if used correctly and in compliance with an amiable learning environment, scaffolding can prove to be a useful tool. Definition of Scaffolding Scaffolding, in the educational context, is very similar to the same concept one would witness at a construction site. The scaffold, as it relates to construction, is the temporary frame used as a building gradually becomes sturdy enough to support itself. This same premise can be used very effectively in the classroom. "The idea behind scaffolding is to take one lesson and use it to build another lesson” ( Technology can be a factor to this educational practice, because students usually are working alone, with adequate support and direction from the teacher. The goal for the teacher is the recognize when to remove the scaffolds, which will happen when the student attains the proper level of understanding of the subject. Lev Vygotsky a Russian psychologist was one of the first proponents of this type of instructional theory with his zone of proximal development, of which scaffolding is a key component. Vygotsky believed that this type of cognitive learning will enable 2
  3. 3. Instructional Behavior - Scaffolding students to solve problems on their own, by creating a zone that can include other students or resources. Koos Winnips, an expert on educational scaffolding, defines the process as "providing support to student learning and then retreating that support so that the student becomes self-reliant” ( The learning for the student will be cumulative, building upon previous knowledge, as the student begins to solve problems and questions independently. Scaffolding and Lesson Planning Scaffolding can have a positive impact for a teacher, when it comes to introducing new or complicated subjects to students of various learning abilities. “Scaffolding can work in a number of ways, depending on the type of instruction being provided. In subject areas in which knowledge is ‘fixed,’ teachers can provide all needed support beforehand. For subjects in were knowledge is developmental, more discussion and ongoing guidance may be necessary” ( Therefore, the teacher must plan appropriately for this type of instructional practice, and time is certainly a factor. Teachers need to plan appropriately and thus customize the lesson plan based on the strengths and weaknesses of the students. In my opinion, this is the best instructional theory to employ for a mix of gifted and at-risk students. Creating an amiable learning environment is very important to scaffolding being successful in the classroom. In today’s classroom students are more diverse than ever, and will have different grades of learning abilities. A teacher’s personal enthusiasm can also assist in the success of this instructional theory, by motivating students to work together and formulate their own opinions and answers. If a student is having problems 3
  4. 4. Instructional Behavior - Scaffolding with the subject matter, the teacher should be prepared to rebuild the scaffold again for better understanding. In summary, scaffolding is about customizing individual learning success, and the teacher needs to be prepared to spend the right amount of time to ensure this happens. Advantages and Disadvantages Bloom’s instructional theory prompts the education or learning of humans. (Wikipedia, 2007). Through this theory a discipline is applied that focuses on how to structure the material for presentation and teaching. The method of scaffolding in order to introduce the structure of material can prove to have advantages and disadvantages. A strong advantage of scaffolding as it relates to the instructional theory is that it provides the supports a student needs to learn and slowly removes those supports as the student begins to think on their own. It is a useful bridge between direct and indirect learning. A clear advantage is that the teacher uses a direct approach to introduce the lesson. This way the teacher is active with the student and if they suspect the child does not have the knowledge needed to learn the material, they may interact with various “scaffolds” or supports in order to explain the information to the student again. These supports can be given in cues, prompts, direct instruction or the use of another scaffolding strategy of overlapping new information with previously learned. This has a clear advantage to helping the student take active consideration to the topic. 4
  5. 5. Instructional Behavior - Scaffolding Another scaffolding strategy, which proves to be a clear advantage with the learning theory, would be to have the teacher act out the appropriate thinking process, or learning skills in the classroom. This modeling can help students learn to interact with in the school culture and therefore be more successful. Scaffolding within the instructional theory has does implement some disadvantages with it also. Because students learn at different rates, the supports needed to prompt learning can vary and become difficult for the teacher to focus on each of the individual needs of all their students. Supports, or scaffolds, need to be removed as learning is prompted and there is no clear cut time as to when these should be illuminated. It will vary per student and can cause the lesson plan to become some what chaotic. Although the scaffolds help with a student’s ability to build on prior knowledge and therefore become able to internalize new information, the activities provided in scaffolding instruction are just beyond the level of what the learner can do alone. At what point are these removed, and how does the facilitator know when is the best time to do it? 5
  6. 6. Instructional Behavior - Scaffolding References 1. North Central Regional Educational Laboratory. Retrieved Sept. 19 from Van Der Stuy, Rachel. Scaffolding as a Teaching Strategy. Nov. 2. Article by Linda Starr, 2000. 3. Wood, D., Bruner, J., & Ross, G. (1976). The role of tutoring in problem solving. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, 17, 89-100. 6
  7. 7. Instructional Behavior - Scaffolding References 1. North Central Regional Educational Laboratory. Retrieved Sept. 19 from Van Der Stuy, Rachel. Scaffolding as a Teaching Strategy. Nov. 2. Article by Linda Starr, 2000. 3. Wood, D., Bruner, J., & Ross, G. (1976). The role of tutoring in problem solving. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, 17, 89-100. 6