A Blended Professional Development Program to Help a Teacher Learn to Provide One-to-One Scaffolding

Argumentation is central to instruction centered on socio-scientific issues (Sadler & Donnelly in International Journal of Science Education, 28(12), 1463–1488, 2006. doi:10.1080/09500690600708717). Teachers can play a big role in helping students engage in argumentation and solve authentic scientific problems. To do so, they need to learn one-to-one scaffolding—dynamic support to help students accomplish tasks that they could not complete unaided. This study explores a middle school science teacher’s provision of one-to-one scaffolding during a problem-based learning unit, in which students argued about how to optimize the water quality of their local river. The blended professional development program incorporated three 1.5-h seminars, one 8-h workshop, and 4 weeks of online education activities. Data sources were video of three small groups per period, and what students typed in response to prompts from computer-based argumentation scaffolds. Results indicated that the teacher provided one-to-one scaffolding on a par with inquiry-oriented teachers described in the literature.

Belland, B. R., Burdo, R., & Gu, J. (2015). A Blended Professional Development Program to Help a Teacher Learn to Provide One-to-One Scaffolding. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 26(3), 263-289.

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Year: 
2015