Scaffolding Student Understanding in Small-Group Work: Students’ Uptake of Teacher Support in Subsequent Small-Group Interaction
Janneke van de Pol, Neil Mercer, & Monique Volman
Adaptive support that is gradually faded seems most effective in fostering students’ uptake of a teacher’s support during small-group work.
In this mixed-methods study, van de Pol et al. focused on how adaptive support promotes students’ learning. They analyzed all interactions from 35 lessons of seven secondary social studies teachers. Results showed that discussing and using teachers’ support in small-groups helped students learn. They hypothesized that when the provided support was adaptive to the students’ understanding, it would be easier for them to use (which would in turn improve their learning). However, the effects of the adaptiveness of support seemed to be hampered by untimely fading of the support; teachers often walked away from the group too soon. Yet, adaptive support that is gradually faded seemed most effective in fostering students’ uptake of a teacher’s support during small-group work.
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