Chapter 3: Scaffolding Metacognition and Resource Activation During Problem Solving: A Continuum Perspective
Published:17 May 2021
N. Graulich, A. Langner, K. Vo, and E. Yuriev, in Problems and Problem Solving in Chemistry Education: Analysing Data, Looking for Patterns and Making Deductions, ed. G. Tsaparlis, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021, ch. 3, pp. 38-67.
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Chemical problem solving is complex and relies on conceptual knowledge and the deployment of metacognitive problem-solving processes. Novice problem solvers such as undergraduate students often grapple with both challenges simultaneously. Multiple scaffolding approaches have been developed to support student problem solving, often designed to address specific aspects or content area. In this chapter, we propose that a continuum of scaffolding exists, using a range of metacognitive or instructional prompts, and that a blending of prompts could be used to achieve specific goals depending on intended learning outcomes. We use two case studies to illustrate that common issues and problem-solving processes could be addressed using different scaffolds on the continuum. We also describe how providing students with opportunities to reflect on the problem-solving work of others – peers or experts – could be of benefit in deepening students’ conceptual reasoning skills.