• Tzu-Chiang Lin
  • Ying-Shao Hsu
  • Shu-Sheng Lin
  • Maio-Li Changlai
  • Kun-Yuan Yang
  • Ting-Ling Lai


This content analysis of articles in the Social Science Citation Index journals from 1995 to 2009 was conducted to provide science educators with empirical evidence regarding the effects of scaffolding on science learning. It clarifies the definition, design, and implementation of scaffolding in science classrooms and research studies. The results show important cross-study evidence that most researchers have adopted a qualitative approach (67.44%), focused on learning context (72.09%), and used high school students as participants (53.49%). In designing scaffoldings, researchers have shown a preference for long-term explicit scaffolding using multiple representations to promote procedural and strategic skills and alternative assessments of learner performance. Nevertheless, scaffolding issues related to teacher education are unexpectedly few (11.63%) in empirical research. The results also indicate that there are too few studies to guide researchers in considering fading scaffolds for active learning (9.30%). Future directions and suggestions toward conducting research regarding scaffolding are provided.

Key words

content analysis fading scaffolding science learning science teaching 


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Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tzu-Chiang Lin
    • 1
  • Ying-Shao Hsu
    • 2
  • Shu-Sheng Lin
    • 3
  • Maio-Li Changlai
    • 4
  • Kun-Yuan Yang
    • 5
  • Ting-Ling Lai
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Life ScienceNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Graduate Institute of Science Education and Department of Earth SciencesNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Graduate Institute of Science EducationNational Chiayi UniversityChiayiTaiwan
  4. 4.The Center of General EducationChung Kuo Institute of TechnologyTaipeiTaiwan
  5. 5.Graduate Institute of Education and Center for Teacher EducationChung Yuan Christian UniversityJhongliTaiwan
  6. 6.Department of Educational TechnologyTamkang UniversityNew TaipeiTaiwan

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