Part of the
Centre for
Engineering Education
TU DelftTU EindhovenUniversity of TwenteWageningen University
Centre for
Engineering Education


+31(0)6 48 27 55 61


Scaffolding challenge-based teaching in different educational contexts through Lesson Study

Monday, 24 January 2022

In successful CBL, students take the lead to regulate their collaborative learning process. To reach fully self-regulated learning, students must learn to formulate their own learning goals and to regulate their learning process accordingly. This requires a lot from teachers, who have to adapt their teaching methods, as well as from students, who adapt their learning strategies. The joint venture of Eindhoven School of Education (ESoE) and TEACH (the teacher professional development department at TU/e), funded by 4TU.CEE, has aimed to boost the adaptation of mostly teacher‐centered lessons or courses to encompass self-regulated learning.

Becoming a self-regulated learner

Learning how to become self‐regulated learners is a process that takes time and does not happen in one day. Students must receive scaffolding in becoming self‐regulated learners. Scaffolding means that over time, the more students regulate the learning process themselves, the less teacher support is provided; the teacher first builds a scaffold, which then can be taken down step by step.

Continuous learning process

The learning process towards students’ self-regulated learning starts in secondary education and evolves in higher education. To capture and to boost this ongoing learning process, in the current project, five Lesson Study (LS) teams of teachers in different contexts (secondary education, teacher education, and university education) have worked collaboratively on stimulating more student regulation. The aim of LS is collaborative planning, implementation, and evaluation of innovations in teaching practices. LS offers a well‐developed set of principles and procedures for supporting teachers’ professional learning, focusing on the planning and analysis of ‘research lessons’. It has six components: identifying improvement aims; formulating hypotheses and goals; joint research lesson planning; teaching and observing research lessons; post‐research lesson discussion; and passing on the knowledge gained.

Teacher guidance

The current project has documented the learning process of each team and shows when and how Lesson Study can be a valuable means for teacher professional development. Results show how in line with the idea of scaffolding, increasing student regulation requires keeping some teacher regulation while slowly fading it out: completely letting go all teacher guidance only hampers students’ learning. For teachers letting go of control is a learning process in itself, for which Lesson Study seems to be a relevant tool. Teachers reported to enjoy the group discussions and to have learned a lot from their colleagues’ perspectives. However, for Lesson Study to be successful, time is essential, as well as a team of teachers who preferably teach the same or similar subjects.

Struggling with scaffolding

By focusing on the different contexts of secondary education and university education, we examined a possible ongoing learning processes of students and the corresponding teaching practices. Remarkably, within each context, same teachers’ concerns were discussed in the LS teams. For example, we found that within each context, both students and teachers were struggling with the amount of necessary scaffolding. The ongoing learning process was found particularly in the scope of the activities students were instructed to self-regulate, moving up from a single activity within a lesson, to working on a longer-term project, to guiding one’s own learning process in general.


For more information, visit the 4TU.CEE Innovation Map.

Involved in this project are: Marloes Hendrickx, Gonny Schellings, Carry van Weert and Ellen de Greef-Daamen