Spring 2015

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


The present study sought to gather evidence on the best procedure for fading student-provided scaffolds. Fifty-one students were randomly selected from a convenience sampling of 144 students in five different sections of seventh grade Life Science. Over the course of one school year, students were introduced to a paragraph writing template, which would help them to be able to write paragraphs that introduced a source, provided a citation to support a claim, analyzed that citation to state its importance and finally tie it up using a conclusion statement; this structure helped them structure a well-written proposition and support paragraphs on a given life science concept without support from the teacher. Students wrote a total of ten paragraphs during the study. With each new paragraph the scaffolding was faded to provide decreasing amounts of support to the students. A comparison of mean scores and standard deviations was used to show student performance throughout the study. Results indicated that students were able to continue to write paragraphs structured in the ICAT format even after the scaffolding was fully withdrawn.