EdTech 542 Week 4 Part II


I have chosen to discuss Option 2: Scaffolding in PBL.  According to the article provided (McKenzie, n.d.) there are eight characteristics for educational scaffolding:

  1. Scaffolding provides clear directions
  2. Scaffolding clarifies purpose
  3. Scaffolding keeps students on task
  4. Scaffolding offers assessment to clarify expectations
  5. Scaffolding points students to worth sources
  6. Scaffolding reduces uncertainty, surprise, and disappointment
  7. Scaffolding delivers efficiency
  8. Scaffolding creates momentum

When it comes to engaging students in projects, teachers often report similar frustrations.  The students won’t remain on-task, students ask too many questions, and the project moves at a snails pace.  When a teacher is trying to implement PBL into their classroom curriculum, patience and scaffolding is the key.  Students are not necessarily used to having the freedom that PBL offers and must be taught through scaffolding.

As I compare these 8 characteristics of scaffolding to my own PBL, I can see that I am off to a good start in providing teachers with the knowledge they need to set clear, concise expectations in the student/teacher learning guide.  By providing students with rubrics and expectations early, frustrations are minimized.

3rd grade students likely haven’t had a lot of opportunities to be in PBL projects by the age of nine.  They will need clear step-by-step instructions similar to the questions I have listed on my checklist.  Following a detailed list will give students the direction in the information required as well as guide them to the next activity.

McKenzie, J (n.d.) describes “The best of all of these efforts always made significant use of scaffolding to organize and support the student investigation or inquiry, to keep students from straying too far off the path while seeking “the truth” about whatever issue, problem or question was driving the project. The least successful efforts assumed too much about student skills, organizational abilities and commitment. Young ones were sent off on expeditions with little in the way of structure or guidance.”

McKenzie, J. (n.d.). Scaffolding in PBL. Retrieved from http://edtech.mrooms.org/pluginfile.php/103602/mod_page/content/93/New_Scaffolding_in_PBL.pdf



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