Simple Scaffolding Strategies That Can Boost Students’ Academic Achievement

All the time, there are hotly endless debates around the best instructional practices with adamant defense and justifications. Still, Constructivism is one of those important pedagogical philosophies that founded for many effective strategies and techniques in Education. Its fundamentals were derived from the main natural assumption of learning and knowledge acquisition; learners build their knowledge on their own when they are enabled to reformulate the knowledge they previously acquired while guided by the others. Instructional scaffolding is an important concept shaped by constructivism. It provides learners with the guidance they need to construct a clear understanding of their learning and enable them to regulate knowledge without that perpetual reliance on teachers or parents. At the same time, most education systems in the Middle East compete to use technology-supported learning approaches and sometimes the only scaffolding type that is offered to learners is a technical one.

SCAFFOLDING TEACHING METHOD

The term “scaffolding” can be defined as tutoring or other assistance provided in a learning setting to assist students with attaining levels of understanding impossible for them to achieve without assistance. They viewed scaffolds as personal in nature; that is, aid provided by a teacher or peer to help with the learning process. Scaffolding is extremely social form of instruction, with peers and teachers interacting closely with students as she or he attempts a task. To be successful, scaffolding requires convivial atmosphere in which students can let their defenses down and in which teachers make students feel at ease to take individual risks. When these conditions are met, scaffolding helps to create thoughtful environments where both teachers and students are thinking deeply about classroom tasks. It can be implied that scaffolding is derived from the idea of Zone Proximal Development (ZPD) which is the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers. The distance between the child's actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the higher level of potential development as determined through problem-solving under adult guidance and in collaboration with more capable peers.

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        Scaffolding as a teaching strategy depends heavily on the idea that children come to any educational setting with a great deal of preexisting knowledge, some of which may incorrect. It is the process of building on what a student already knows that makes scaffolding an effective instructional technique. “Scaffolding could be seen as the temporary but essential nature of the mentor’s assistance in helping students to do the tasks successfully”. From what experts’ state, scaffolding is teacher’s assistance or support to students in learning in the classroom and it is quite sure that many teachers and instructors have done it to their students. Scaffolding facilitates a learner ability to establish prior knowledge and internalize new information. The activities provided in scaffolding instruction are just beyond the level of what the learner can do alone. An important aspect of scaffolding is that the scaffolds are temporary. As the learners abilities increase the scaffolding provided by the more knowledgeable person is progressively withdrawn. Finally, the learner is able to complete the task or master the concepts independently.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

Academic achievement is an issue that deeply concerns students, parents, teachers and authorities not only in our country, but also in many other Latin American countries and continents. The complexity of the Academic achievement starts from its conceptualization. Sometimes it is known as school readiness, academic achievement and school performance, but generally the difference in concepts is only explained by semantics as they are used as synonyms. Conventionally, it has been agreed that Academic achievement should be used in university populations and school performance in regular and alternative basic education populations. We will point out just a few because there is a diversity of definitions. Several authors agree that Academic achievement is the result of learning, prompted by the teaching activity by the teacher and produced by the student. Academic achievement is “the product given by the students and it is usually expressed through school grades”. Academic achievement as a measure of the indicative and responsive abilities that express, in an estimated way, what a person has learned as a result of a process of education or training. Academic achievement involves meeting goals, achievements and objectives set in the program or course that a student attends. These are expressed through grades which are the result of an assessment that involves passing or not certain tests, subjects or courses. Academic achievement also can be seen as the level of knowledge shown in an area or subject compared to the norm, and it is generally measured using the grade point average.

SCAFFOLDING TEACHING METHOD AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT  

One of the main benefits of scaffold instruction is that it provides for a supportive learning environment. In a scaffold learning environment, students are free to ask questions, provide feedback and support their peers in learning new material, it create room for more knowledgeable learners to assist their fellow students with low level of comprehension or slow learners, it helps in development of communication skills when learners discuss in groups. Instructional scaffolding as a teaching strategy depends heavily on the idea that children come to any educational setting with a great deal of pre-existing knowledge, some of which may be correct or incorrect. It is the process of building on what a student already knows that makes scaffolding an effective instructional technique. In instructional scaffolding, a more knowledgeable other provides scaffolds to facilitate the learner development. The scaffolds facilitate a student ability to build on prior knowledge and internalize new information. The activities provided in scaffolding instruction are just beyond the level of what the learner can do alone. An important aspect of scaffolding is that the scaffolds are temporary. As the learners abilities increase the scaffolding provided. One attraction of the idea of zone of proximal development (scaffold) in relation to educational practices is that it provides a distinctive perspective for conceptualizing the relation between human learning and development a perspective which also has some fundamental differences from many of the currently predominant views about this relation.

SCAFFOLDING STRATEGIES THAT TEACHERS CAN USE FOR THEIR STUDENTS

Some kinds of scaffolding can be taken from some experts as follows; stated that “kinds of scaffolding cover Explanation, inviting students’ participation, clarifying and verifying students’ understanding, modeling of desired behavior, inviting students to contribute clues”. It means that explanation and inviting students’ participation are more significant scaffolding used. Scaffolding is a teaching and learning model. Furthermore, they state that scaffolding proceeded through three recursive stages:

  1. a) Building background knowledge by assisting students to articulate and connect prior knowledge to the activity at hand while affording teachers opportunities to determine the zone in which the child can perform unassisted and/or assist in the others’ performance.
  2. b) Thinking and discoursing through the topic or activity, where teaching ‘awakens and rouses to life those functions … which lie in the zone of proximal development’ to scaffold the learners to interact with task information (both language and content) socially, collaboratively and critically.
  3. c) Reconstructing and realizing knowledge to scaffold students to organize and consolidate new understandings, and to realize them linguistically, beyond simple lexis and grammar, into coherent patterns of subject area appropriate extended discourse. Kinds of scaffolding can be free talk with students before the lesson starts, operating the frequency (FREQ) command, different types of teacher’s initiation and follow-up moves in different kinds of exchanges in Activity Band C were analyzed using the data from the two lessons selected, fulfilled the teacher’s role through the sequencing of the lesson activities, the choice of lessons, and of thematic topics, rather than through comparatively short exchanges, or individual activity

 

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