Effective Teaching and Learning: Perspectives, Strategies and Implementation


Matthias Abend (Editor)

Series: Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World
BISAC: EDU029000

Within educational discourse, the idea that teachers should “scaffold” student learning is extremely widespread, yet it is often less clear what this means in the classroom beyond teacher-structured learning activities and the offering of support to students. Effective Teaching and Learning: Perspectives, Strategies and Implementation opens with a review on the use of the term “scaffolding” in teaching, and explains the purpose of scaffolding in the context of Vygotsky’s developmental theory.

The authors draw upon Vygotsky’s spatial metaphor for how learning activities could be positioned in relation to the learner’s current and potential levels of development. An analysis of the function of scaffolds, their role in classroom differentiation, and the logic of “fading” is provided. Following this, the authors report one small-scale study that explored an attempt to design materials using principles of scaffolding in an aspect of upper secondary physics known to present learning difficulties to students. The results demonstrate the difficulty of estimating the level at which to pitch learning materials intended to scaffold learning, but also suggest that such materials may contribute to shifting student thinking even when they are not optimally tuned.

The results of this small-scale study indicate both the difficulty and the potential of transferring the scaffolding principle from dyadic contexts to formal classroom teaching. Continuing, our nderstanding of learning and the transmission of knowledge has influenced the design of instructional models. Today’s models may appear simplistic, but actually contain very detailed components. Medical education has incorporated instructional designers to assist in developing curricula and to revamp older training programs. Thus, the authors aim to identify the more prominent instructional design (ID) models and their applicability to medical education. With many different instructional design models available, medical educators can be confused and dismayed when first trying to choose an appropriate ID model for educational development. Challenges that medical educators typically overlook, underuse, and overuse when selecting an instructional design model are described. The concluding chapter discusses the need for continuing engineering education and its unique challenges, engineers’ learning preferences (verbal-visual, learning strategy, and multimedia), the importance of prior knowledge, and instructional design strategies for developing more effective training materials for working engineers. This need has been well-documented and is critical for working engineers due to the breadth of processes and equipment they design and use, as well as rapid changes in technology.



Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Scaffolding Learning: Principles for Effective Teaching and the Design of Classroom Resources
(Keith S. Taber, Science Education Centre, University of Cambridge Faculty of Education, Cambridge, Cambs., England)

Chapter 2. A Study to Explore the Potential of Designing Teaching Activities to Scaffold Learning: Understanding Circular Motion
(Keith S. Taber and Richard Brock, Science Education Centre, University of Cambridge Faculty of Education, Cambridge, Cambs., England, and others)

Chapter 3. Instructional Design Models and Medical Education
(Jeffrey Pettit, PhD, College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, US)

Chapter 4. Effective Strategies for Training Working Engineers
(Charles E. Baukal, Jr. and Lynna J. Ausburn, John Zink Institute, Tulsa, OK, and others)


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