AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Supporting a Primary School Teacher to Use Scaffolding Strategies for Stimulating Pupils’ Academic Language Development during Science and Technology Lessons

by S.D. van Driel

Institution: Universiteit Utrecht
Year: 2015
Keywords: scaffolding language; academic language; science & technology; Inquiry-Based Learning; teacher support
Record ID: 1261102
Full text PDF: http://dspace.library.uu.nl:8080/handle/1874/312068


The study reported here aimed at gaining insight into the support a primary school teacher needs to use scaffolding strategies for stimulating pupils’ academic language development during science & technology lessons, based on Inquiry-Based Learning. One female teacher with seven years of experience and specialized in teaching science & technology lessons participated in a four lesson during teaching experiment, conducted in grade four of a Dutch suburban primary school (12 pupils). Teacher support that was provided included an instructional sequence, pre- and post-lesson interviews (e.g., stimulated recall) and reflective reports. Analyses of lesson transcripts showed that the teacher was able to perform the eight scaffolding strategies that were selected. Pre- and post-lesson interviews gave insight into problems the teacher experienced referring to the use of scaffolding strategies, which mainly concerned appropriate expectations of pupils’ academic language level and how to deal with differentiation in the classroom. A post-post-interview was analyzed for reported and derived learning outcomes, including changes in knowledge and beliefs, changes in practices, intentions for practice and changes in emotions. The findings of the study suggest that a teacher can learn to perform scaffolding strategies by participating in a short teaching experiment. In order to enhance the teacher’s awareness about the need to focus on academic language during science and technology lessons additional support is required.