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Scaffolding Strategies Applied by Student Teachers to Teach Mathematics

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Scaffolding is a teaching strategy that provides individualized support based on the learner’s Zone of the Proximal Development (Chang, Sung & Chen, 2002). In scaffolding instruction, another, more knowledgeable individual, provides scaffolds or supports to facilitate the learner’s development. Roehler & Cantlon (1997) identified five different strategies in instructional scaffolding: the modeling of desired behaviors, the offering of explanations, inviting students to participate, verifying and clarifying student understandings, and inviting students to contribute clues. In this research, the aim has been to analyze student teachers’ scaffolding strategies as they have been applied to the teaching of mathematics. The research was conducted with thirteen student teachers in their fourth year of study in Bachelor of Education (Classroom Teacher) Programs. Nine student teachers worked with two fifth grader learners, while the other four worked with three. In order to determine the participant students, a geometry test relating to the first unit of the fifth grade mathematics curriculum was administered. The student teachers worked on a one-to-one basis with students who were having difficulty in geometry and this scaffolding process was recorded. According to the results; inviting student participation was found to be the most commonly used scaffolding strategy. The least common were inviting students to contribute clues and the modeling of desired behaviors. While the majority of student teachers had similar tendencies, certain others had different inclinations. However, the reasons for their preferences in using these scaffolding strategies were not clear.



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