Scaffolding or simplifying: students’ perception of support in Swedish compulsory school

Alli Klapp, Anders Jönsson

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Abstract

National goals and performance standards were introduced in Sweden during the 1990sas part of a curriculum reform. The intention was to detect shortcomings among studentsand provide support to those students who did not reach the passing grade in one (orseveral) subject/s. Despite this reform, approximately one-fourth of the students do notattain a passing grade in all subjects. This study therefore investigates the supportprovided to low-achieving students in Swedish compulsory school. A questionnairefocusing on support in science studies was distributed to students in grade 9 (N =1731), and data was analyzed with confirmatory factor analysis and structural equationmodeling. Findings show that low-achieving students perceive that they primarily receive“simplifying support,” which involves the lowering of expectations and limiting ofstudents’ opportunities to learn. “Scaffolding support,” which involves changes to practicesand holding the same standards for all students, seems to be mainly provided toboys, regardless of achievement level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1074
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychology of Education
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Pedagogy (50301)

Keywords

  • Compulsory school
  • Gender differences
  • Grading
  • Scaffolding support
  • Simplifying support

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