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ERIC Number: EJ1154787
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1696-2095
Scaffolding Young Children: The Utility of Mediation in a Classification Test
Mata, Sara; van Geert, Paul; van der Aalsvoort, Geerdina
Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, v15 n2 p441-466 Sep 2017
Introduction: Studies of Dynamic Assessment of cognitive abilities reveal that young children profit from assistance while carrying out tasks that elicit cognitive effort. Dynamic assessment refers to a test format of a pretest-mediation-posttest in which the mediation phase includes scaffolding to assist the child to grasp the purpose of the task. The aim of the study was to investigate how the mediation phase proceeds. The approach is based upon a Dynamic Systems Theory that explains that the interaction between tester/assessor and testee is based upon reciprocal processes that shape both tester and testee behavior in a highly individualized situational manner. Method: A micro-genetic methodology was applied to study the dynamics of scaffolding in the mediation phase. Transition matrices were developed in order to specify the nature and reciprocity of the dynamic system. The participants tested were four 4 year-old Dutch children attending preschool whose first language was Spanish. The test of Classification was offered. It requires from children to grasp the sorting of blocks in three categories: Color, form and size. The skill is one of the prerequisites of numeracy development. Results: The findings show how mediation by the assessor is reciprocally adapted between each child and the assessor, generating specific patterns of dyad interaction in order to achieve the task. Discussion and Conclusion: The scaffolding applied in the mediation phase of a Dynamic Assessment task generates significant improvements in the performance levels showed by the children in the posttest phase results. When the Dynamic System Theory is applied into the mediation phase it is possible to observe how the assessor adapts to the special necessities of the child and therefore is also modified. This fact suggests that scaffolding is a personalized process that moves along the semi-scripted mediation procedure and reveals that children not only differ with regard to their potential to learn but also differ in their ability to elicit scaffolding from the assessor.
University of Almeria, Education & Psychology I+D+i. Faculty of Psychology Department of Educational and Developmental Psychology, Carretera de Sacramento s/n, 04120 LaCanada de San Urbano, Almeria, Spain. Tel: +34-950-015354; Fax: +34-950-015083; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A