Scaffolding under the microscope: Applying self-regulation and other-regulation perspectives to a scaffolded task

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Abstract

Background

Typical scaffolding coding schemes provide overall scores to compare across a sample. As such, insights into the scaffolding process can be obscured: the child's contribution to the learning; the particular skills being taught and learned; and the overall changes in amount of scaffolding over the course of the task.

Aims

This study applies a transition of regulation framework to scaffolding coding, using a self-regulation and other-regulation coding scheme, to explore how rich and detailed data on mother–child dyadic interactions fit alongside collapsed sample-level scores.

Sample

Data of 78 mother–child dyads (M age = 9 years 10 months) from the Sisters and Brothers Study (SIBS: Pike et al., 2006, Family relationships in middle childhood. National Children's Bureau/Joseph Rowntree Foundation) were used for this analysis.

Methods

Videos of the mother and child completing a multiple-trial block design puzzle task at home were coded for their different self- and other-regulation skills at the end of every block design trial.

Results

These constructs were examined at a sample level, providing general findings about typical patterns of self-regulation and other-regulation. Seven exemplar families at different ends of the spectrum were then extracted for fine-grained examination, showing substantial trial- and behaviour-related differences between seemingly similarly scoring families.

Conclusion

This coding scheme demonstrated the value of exploring perspectives of a mother–child tutoring task aligned to the concept of other-regulation, and investigating detailed features of the interaction that go undetected in existing scaffolding coding schemes.

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