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ERIC Number: ED489962
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Apr-13
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Deeping Our Understanding Through Multiple Perspectives: The Effectiveness of Scaffolding in a Learning Environment
Zydney, Janet, Mannheimer
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (63rd, Montreal, Canada, April 11-15, 2005)
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of scaffolding in helping students understand a complex problem. Seventy-nine 10th-grade students (15 to 16 years old) from an urban public school participated in this study. The ethnic breakdown of the students at this school was: 39.4% White, 18% Black, 22.4% Hispanic, and 20.3 % Asian and others. A multimedia learning environment called Pollution Solution was developed specifically for this research and was based on an instructional model that builds on the cognitive flexibility theory (CFT) and incorporates situated cases and scaffolding elements from a variety of constructivist theories and models. Four classes were randomly assigned to four treatment conditions which each received different scaffolded versions of the environment. Results indicated that the scaffolding had a significant effect on students' problem understanding but did not have a significant effect on their consideration of the multiple perspectives of the problem or their misconceptions. Thus, scaffolding used in conjunction with CFT principles was not found to hinder students' ability to consider multiple perspectives or to cause an increase in their misconceptions. On the other hand, scaffolding that provided students with an organizing template significantly improved their understanding of the problem. However, this organization scaffold tended not to be as effective when combined with other scaffolding. These findings highlight the importance of testing the effects of individual scaffolds in addition to testing the overall effect of the combined scaffolding. (Contains 8 tables and 3 figures).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Grade 10
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A