Research on Scaffolding in the Learning Sciences

A Methodological Perspective

Authored by: Iris Tabak , Eleni A. Kyza

International Handbook of the Learning Sciences

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  April  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138670594
eBook ISBN: 9781315617572
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315617572-19

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Abstract

In the learning sciences, the study of learning and design for learning go hand in hand. It is not surprising, therefore, that scaffolding (Greenfield, 1984; Wood, Bruner, & Ross, 1976), the titrated support that enables learners to perform an action that would be outside their independent activity, and that fades as learners gain competence, is a central concept and area of research in the learning sciences (Reiser & Tabak, 2014; Sawyer, 2014). Tailoring instruction to learners’ needs is inherently a design task, regardless of whether it is a parent or teacher tacitly designing their words to provide guidance and feedback, similar to recipient design (Sacks, Schegloff, & Jefferson, 1974), or whether it refers to a computer-based interface designed to decrease the constraints imposed on learners in response to their growing proficiency. In addition to designing environments that facilitate learning, learning scientists are interested in examining what forms of learning arise, and what set of supports and interactions can explain how this learning occurred (Barab, 2014; Brown, 1992; Design Based Research Collective, 2003).

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