2016-2017 Graduate Catalog

EDUA 5725 Building Blocks for Success

Each student enters the classroom with a different set of skills, abilities, and needs, which can pose a challenge for instruction. Scaffolding is an effective classroom strategy that takes into account every student’s entry point, so that they are supported on their way to academic proficiency and beyond. Scaffolding refers to a variety of instructional techniques used to move students progressively toward stronger understanding and, ultimately, greater independence in the learning process. In scaffolding, teachers create an initial instructional "scaffold" that supports students in the Zone of Proximal Development in order to reach higher levels of comprehension and skill acquisition than possible without assistance. Like physical scaffolding, the supports are incrementally removed when they are no longer needed, and the teacher gradually shifts more responsibility for learning to the student.

This course provides teachers with strategies for assessing students’ baseline knowledge, setting up initial scaffolds that are appropriate for each learner’s needs, planning scaffolded instruction in both content and process (the "how" of learning), and knowing when and how to remove these scaffolds to promote student success. By the end of the course, teachers will be able to meet each student at his or her current entry point and support their personal progress and mastery in the classroom.