Postponed: Cultural and contextual variation in scaffolding for self-regulation at home and at school

3rd March 2020 : 17:00 - 18:30

Category: Seminar

Speaker: Sara Baker, University of Cambridge

Location: Department of Education, Seminar Room K/L

Please note that this seminar has been postponed


Seminar Abstract


This talk is concerned with how adults support children’s developing self-regulation. I ask how far we can extend the parallels from parenting to teaching, and I examine the appropriateness of research methods to the questions at hand.

I first review biological, environmental and cultural factors that influence parental scaffolding of children’s self-regulation at home. I demonstrate that existing research mostly relies on highly controlled lab-based studies with white European and American families. Our own research with South Korean families reveals key ways in which parental scaffolding for self-regulation might differ between cultures. Going beyond traditional study samples invites us to broaden the theoretical lens on children’s developing self-regulation.

Then, inspired by variations in adult scaffolding in the home, I turn to the question of how teachers can scaffold for self-regulation in the classroom. I show that, while we can draw some parallels with the parenting literature, we must also recognise the uniqueness of the teacher’s role and individual context. I will illustrate the research process we have adopted in our recent work with UK Reception and Year 1 teachers as co-researchers. Our preliminary findings indicate context-specific factors that promote and hinder teachers’ support of children’s self-regulation in school.


About the speaker


Sara uses cognitive science and works with teachers in schools to translate research into educational contexts. What types of strategies can children use to solve everyday problems more effectively, and how can adults support this? Later in development, what are the key factors in adults’ use of evidence-based reasoning (e.g. critical thinking and scientific reasoning)? And finally, how can neuroscientists and educators work together for better evidence-informed practice and practice-informed evidence? Sara’s recent projects have been funded by the Newton Trust, the Economic and Social Research Council, the LEGO Foundation and the Nuffield Foundation.