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Collaboration, scaffolding and the promotion of problem solving strategies in Mexican pre-schoolers

Abstract

Research in Mexican schools, drawing upon earlier research in the UK, has led to the development and use of a method for describing, comparing and evaluating the particular approaches and interactional strategies used by teachers and learners. Using this method, qualitative and quantitative comparisons are made to distinguish between teachers who use a conventional, formal, directive approach when teaching 5-year-old children mathematical skills (called the “Official” method) and those who use a more interactive, collaborative, supportive, “scaffolded” approach to teach similar classes of children (called the “High Scope” method). In an earlier study, we found more competent and independent problem-solving among High/Scope pupils than among their peers taught by the Official method. In the present study, discourse analysis and statistical analysis of the relative frequencies of types of teacher-pupil interaction in the classrooms of two “Official” teachers and two “High’ Scope” teachers are used to explain the improved problem-solving of the “High Scope” pupils. The findings support the view that by creating a more collaborative, scaffolded version of classroom education, teachers can more successfully enable children to develop their own problem-solving skills, learning strategies and curriculum-related understanding. The research also contributes to the development and implementation of methods for promoting a more effective style of teacher-learner interaction in the classroom.

Résumé

En se basant sur des recherches qui ont été effectuées en Angleterre, la recherche dans les écoles mexicaines a permis de développer et d’utiliser une méthodologie dont le but est de décrire, comparer et évaluer les approches particulières et les stratégies interactionnelles utilisées par les professeurs et les apprenants. En utilisant cette méthode, des comparaisons qualitatives et quantitatives ont été réalisées afin de distinguer les professeurs qui utilisent une approche conventionnelle, formelle et directive quand ils enseignent les habiletés mathématiques aux enfants de 5 ans (cette approche est appelée “méthode Officielle”), de ceux qui utilisent une approche intéractive, collaborative, de support, et d’échafaudage pour enseigner des cours similaires à ces enfants (cette méthode est appelée “méthode de Haute portée”). Dans un travail antérieur, nous avons trouvé une plus grande compétence et indépendance pour résoudre les problèmes chez les enfants de l’approche de “haute portée”, que chez les enfants qui ont suivi la méthode officielle. Dans cette étude, nous utilisons une analyse qualitative et statistiquement significative des différences de la fréquence relative de certains types d’intéractions dans la salle de classe de la part de deux professeurs et, comme il a été dit auparavant, nous expliquons comment la collaboration et l’échaffaudage dans la salle de classe peuvent aboutir à la résolution des problèmes chez l’enfant. Cette recherche a contribué au développement et à l’augmentation de méthodologies qui promeuvent un style plus efficace d’intéraction adulte-enfant dans la salle de classe qui stimule la compréhension des enfants. Cette recherche défend alors l’idée que c’est en créant une version échafaudée d’éducation dans la salle de classe, que les professeurs pourront permettre avec plus de succès aux enfants de développer leurs propres habiletés de résolution de problèmes, leurs stratégies d’apprentissage et la compréhension du programme.

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Correspondence to Sylvia Rojas-Drummond.

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Rojas-Drummond, S., Mercer, N. & Dabrowski, E. Collaboration, scaffolding and the promotion of problem solving strategies in Mexican pre-schoolers. Eur J Psychol Educ 16, 179 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03173024

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Key words

  • Collaboration
  • Interactive teaching-learning strategies
  • Pre-school education
  • Problem solving
  • Scaffolding