Scaffolding in a Medicine Education Intervention for Student Teachers Based on the PROFILES Three Stage Model

  • Sirpa Kärkkäinen
  • Jari Kukkonen
  • Tuula Keinonen
Keywords: Medicine education, Presentation modelling, Scaffolding, Teacher education, Three Stage PROFILES Model


This paper focuses on describing the effects of scaffolding on the student  teachers’ learning process. The scaffolding is based on using information and communication technology in the PROFILES Three Stage Model; Scenario, Inquiry and Decision-making Stages. Six hours of medicine education intervention is conducted as a part of the student teachers’ program in biology education. The scaffolded group is encouraged to work with the case and presentation templates, online, in Google Sites; the unscaffolded group work only with Word documents. During the Scenario Phase, student teachers discuss the important symptoms of flu, its prevention, and sources from which to find reliable information. In the Inquiry Phase, in the light of online materials and resources, student teachers recall  and elaborate on these symptoms. In the Decision-making Phase, student teachers conclude their investigation by making a presentation with suggestions for treatment, and justify it with respect to reliable sources. The learning design is mainly based on the existing Internet site (Teaching children about the proper use of medicines). After their presentations, students reflect on questions that arise and discuss the subject. Results show that both groups discuss the reliability of different websites in the same way. However, the scaffolded group is quite effective in searching for information for their presentation, whereas the unscaffolded group has difficulties in finding relevant information. This suggests that by structuring the activity with Google Sites and presentation templates, scaffolding helps student teachers to work intensively and to prepare their presentations. Presentation modelling seems to be beneficial to the students’ sense  making process during the investigation, and it also supports them in coping with the collaborative case-based reasoning process.


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