Scaffolded knowledge integration
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- Scaffolded knowledge integration (SKI) is an instructional design model to enhance science teaching in school classrooms. It was developped by Marcia C. Linn (and collaborators) at University of California, Berkely.
“ In the SKI framework, learners are viewed as adding to their repertoire of ideas and reorganising their knowledgeweb about science. Students sort out their ideas as a result of instruction, experience, observation, and reflection (Linn & Hsi, 2000). The framework is organised around four principles to promote knowledge integration: (a) making science accessible for students, (b) making thinking visible for students, (c) providing social supports for students, and (d) promoting lifelong science learning.” (Williams & Linn, 2002: 416).
(1) Instruction should connect science to personally relevant problems and prior knowledge, i.e. to make a link between instructed and spontaneous concepts.
(2) Students and teachers are encouraged to “ make their thinking visible, describing how they recognise new ideas, and reorganise and connect new and prior ideas. Students explore events and phenomena first hand and develop from those observations important concepts and ideas. Technological supports such as visualisations, films, models, and simulations can also make thinking visible.We ask students to make predictions, drawinferences, and construct generalisations” ((Williams & Linn, 2002: 417)
(3) Based on Vygotsky's concept zone of proximal development - a foundation of most socio-constructivist designs, the SKI “ [...] emphasises that providing students with social supports in a science classroom can promote knowledge integration. Collaborative learning situations such as discussions and debates can be designed so students offer explanations, interpretations, and resolutions supported by a peer or a scientist.” (Williams & Linn, 2002: 418)
(4) Promote autonomy for lifelong science learning: “ To prepare students to integrate the ideas they learn in science and revisit them once they have completed a science course, WISE software supports questioning, analysing, and reflecting. [...] Students are asked to identify weaknesses in arguments and question the validity of the scientific information presented. These activities allow students to link their real world experiences with scientific concepts taught in school and prompt students to make the links between spontaneous and instructed ideas. [...] In addition, the WISE software features "Amanda the Panda", an electronic guidance tool that supplies students with hints regarding salient aspects of Internet evidence and also reminds students of the purpose of a project activity. These forms of guidance make the computer a learning partner in the classroom, encouraging students to link their real world experiences with scientific concepts.” (Williams & Linn, 2002: 418)
- See the article about the WISE project
- Linn, M. C. (1995). Designing computer learning environments for engineering and computer science: The scaffolded knowledge integration framework. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 4(2), 103-126. Abstract/PDF (Access restricted)