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Scaffolding Persuasive Essay Writing With Drafting Board

Stone () discussed several studies on scaffolding on teacher–child interactions in which scaffolding was found to be effective. However, these studies were largely observational (e.g., Cazden ; Langer and Applebee ; Englert ; Fleer ). Virtually no (quasi-) experimental studies were found, and different definitions of scaffolding were used across the several studies. An exception is the work of Palincsar and Brown () and Palincsar (, ) in which scaffolding is systematically examined via both single-subject and comparative group designs and found to be effective in the context of Reciprocal Teaching. Although scaffolding has continued to be a frequently studied concept since 1998, no systematic review of the literature on scaffolding in teacher–student interaction has been performed since then. The goal of this review is therefore to provide an overview of research on scaffolding in the classroom of the last decade, particularly with regard to its conceptualization, appearances, and effectiveness.

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Both types of ties are important. Strong ties play a role in motivation, support, and identity. Weak ties have a role, too. Granovetter's seminal article (pdf) (see also (pdf), written 10 years after the seminal article) showed that weak ties acted as bridges to information and sources different from one's networks of strong ties. In small classes, strong ties would be dominant among classmates while weak ties would connect to others outside the classroom. Of course, students have other networks (for example, family and friend networks, which would consist of strong ties) outside the classroom and so would have strong ties outside the classroom, too. Rather, I am thinking of ties connecting to networks that would have information of use to the class's subject matter.

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So, I've been thinking how to take advantage of weak ties to enhance learning in my composition courses. One way is to have each student establish a blog on a topic of personal interest and to subscribe to at least five other blogs writing on the same topic. However, with students writing on different topics, it would be unlikely that their weak ties would be bringing in information and resources of interest to the entire class. So, in addition, students would also be posting on the rhetoric, both textual and visual, contained in those other blogs, leading to interaction with their classmates on rhetorical similarities and differences between blogs and blog subjects, and between blogs and other genres the class would use or come across. If you have any ideas or suggestions on taking advantage of the "strength of weak ties" in learning, . I'll collate them them in a later post.

The of the started today in San Antonio. I attended two three-hour sessions: "Writing in a Digital Age" and "The Web as a Tool for Continuity" (see below for presenters' names).

Scaffolding Support for Research Writing, ..

The Web as a Tool for Continuity
was a session of sharing, discussing, and troubleshooting problems of continuity of Teacher Consultants at writing project sites and ways in which technology can support continuity. Three questions that were discussed were:

It should be noted that classification of the strategy utilized by the teacher under a particular set of circumstances largely depends upon the responses of the students as also depicted in the conceptual model of scaffolding presented in Fig. . A question, for instance, can only be considered a question when the student responds to it as such.

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Scaffolding methods for research paper writing

Although scaffolding was in many studies equated with (almost) any support given by the teacher, the key characteristics of scaffolding are starting to get more emphasis in the scaffolding research. The first key characteristic, i.e., contingency, was operationalized by for example Maloch (), Myhill and Warren (), Nathan and Kim (), Oh (), and Rodgers (). They focused on the adaptation of the teacher’s support to (a group of) student(s). Oh, for example, used the relatively strict definition of scaffolding adopted from Maybin et al. () to focus on contingency. This definition clearly dictated which interactions were qualified as scaffolding and which were not: There had to be evidence that the mentor’s support was tuned in to the learner’s present state of understanding, that the learner accomplished the task with the mentor’s situated help, and that the learner performed the task independently. Nathan and Kim () found that the teacher did not adapt the cognitive complexity level of his elicitations to the nature of the students’ answers (correct/incorrect/partially correct). In Oh and Myhill and Warren, scaffolding was found to be scarce. Myhill and Warren point at the fact that teaching in a contingent manner is so difficult because a teacher has to attend to 30 pupils at the same time.

Research for paper Scaffolding writing methods ..

The third key characteristic of scaffolding, transfer of responsibility, was operationalized, for example, by Reigosa and Jimenez-Aleixandre (). They focused on transfer of responsibility in science small-group work (10th grade). The level of autonomous competence dictated whether scaffolding took place or not; the students had to be able to progress independently after they were supported by the teacher. This hardly occurred, due to excessive task difficulty, a school culture that was not related to scaffolding and small-group communication difficulties. Some studies gave a more descriptive account of this aspect of scaffolding, such as Aukerman ().

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Any combination of a scaffolding means with scaffolding intention can be construed as a scaffolding strategy. The number of scaffolding strategies mentioned in the reviewed articles is enormous and, in fact, too great to summarize fully here. However, some examples may be illustrative. Modeling is a frequently mentioned means of scaffolding (e.g., Hmelo-Silver et al. ; Hung ; Lee ; Silliman et al. ; Smith ; Yelland and Masters ). Brophy () describes the use of modeling to scaffold several types of student activities. First, the modeling of strategies for the learning of key ideas is mentioned as a means to scaffold the metacognitive activities of students together with the intention of direction maintenance. Second, the modeling of key ideas is described as a means to scaffold the cognitive activities of students together with the intentions of cognitive structuring or reduction of the degrees of freedom. Finally, the modeling or presentation of the reasons for why something is worth learning is mentioned as a means to scaffold student affect together with the intentions of recruitment or frustration control. In other words, certain scaffolding means can be used to support different scaffolding intentions.

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Scaffolding is often presented as an effective instructional method (e.g., Cole ; Hogan and Pressley ; Pawan ). In this section, those studies that took up the challenge of studying the effectiveness of scaffolding, will be discussed. In Appendix , information on several characteristics of the studies (domain, measurement of scaffolding, the dependent variable, type of task, and the intentions and means studied as derived from Table ) can be found. Following Shavelson and Towne (), experimental (random assignment to conditions, all but the independent variables are kept equal between conditions), quasi-experimental (when no random assignment is possible, all but the independent variables are kept equal between conditions), and certain correlational studies (regressions) are included here in this discussion on effectiveness because these allow for causal conclusions. Although other types of studies such as descriptive studies can inform us very well on the processes of scaffolding, they do not allow for causal conclusions. To evaluate the effectiveness of scaffolding, the focus should obviously be upon student outcomes. Nonetheless, just how the effectiveness of scaffolding is evaluated also depends upon—among other things—the objectives set by the authors. These objectives mainly relate to the metacognitive or cognitive activities of students or their affect, as also distinguished in Table . In discussing the studies, the scaffolding strategies (Table ) and the key characteristics of scaffolding, i.e., contingency, fading, and transfer of responsibility (Fig. ), will be referred to if examined.

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