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.
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This research was supported by National Science Foundation Early CAREER Grant No. DRL-0953046 awarded to the first author. Any opinions, findings, or conclusions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect official positions of NSF.
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Belland, B.R., Burdo, R. & Gu, J. A Blended Professional Development Program to Help a Teacher Learn to Provide One-to-One Scaffolding. J Sci Teacher Educ 26, 263–289 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10972-015-9419-2
- Professional development
- Online instruction
- Instructional scaffolding
- One-to-one scaffolding
- Problem-based learning