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Encouraging student independence: Perspectives on scaffolding in higher education supervision
Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, Ethnology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0223-8739
2019 (English)In: Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, ISSN 2050-7003, E-ISSN 1758-1184, article id JARHE-01-2019-0012Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The aim of this article is to examine if and how supervisors’ use of two kinds of potential scaffolding means - asking questions and giving instructions - could contribute to fulfilling the scaffolding intention of student independence, in the context of supervision of degree projects within higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

The article is based on qualitative content analysis of two series of supervision meetings between a supervisor and a student in Swedish higher education, comprising a total of eight recorded sessions. The theoretical framework of the article is centered on scaffolding and independent learning, and central concepts are contingency, fading, transfer of responsibility and student independence.

Findings

The analysis shows how the supervisors’ use of questions, and in some respect instructions, could contribute to fulfilling the scaffolding intention of student independence through enabling active participation of both student and supervisor and that the supervision was based on contingency. The analysis further shows that the supervisors tended to become more directive as the work came along, especially when students appeared to be running out of time. The supervision processes did thus not appear to be characterized by fading and transfer of responsibility.

Originality/value

This article contributes to the research field of higher education through discussing student independence as a potential scaffolding intention within supervision of degree projects, based on recorded supervision meetings. Supervision of degree projects is a highly relevant context for discussing scaffolding, since it combines increased student independence with close interaction between student and supervisor for an extended period.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. article id JARHE-01-2019-0012
Keywords [en]
higher education, supervision of degree projects, student independence, teacher education, scaffolding, independent learning
National Category
Ethnology Educational Sciences
Research subject
Historical Studies; Studies in the Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39027DOI: 10.1108/JARHE-01-2019-0012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-39027DiVA, id: diva2:1352538
Part of project
Independence in higher education: A comparative study of Sweden and Russia, The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 2015/3.1.1/1423Available from: 2019-09-19 Created: 2019-09-19 Last updated: 2019-09-20Bibliographically approved

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Zackariasson, Maria

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf