Effects of teacher framing on student engagement during collaborative reasoning discussions

Amanda R. Baker, Tzu Jung Lin, Jing Chen, Narmada Paul, Richard C. Anderson, Kim Nguyen-Jahiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Collaborative argumentation can enhance students’ reasoning, content learning, and interest, but these benefits are contingent upon high levels of student engagement. This study examined the influence of teacher framing strategies that provided autonomy support and structure on students’ engagement during Collaborative Reasoning discussions through the lens of self-determination theory. Transcripts and video recordings of 52 discussions in six fourth-grade classrooms were analyzed for (a) teacher framing strategies used to communicate structure and autonomy support for the upcoming discussion, (b) teacher scaffolding strategies used to enhance thinking and interaction during the discussion, and (c) students’ cognitive-behavioral and social-emotional engagement during the discussion. The findings identified certain teacher framing and teacher scaffolding strategies that had a significant influence on student engagement. Notably, one teacher framing strategy, collaborative rule-setting, predicted higher cognitive-behavioral and social-emotional engagement after controlling for the effects of teacher scaffolding during the discussions. The evidence suggests that providing task structure in autonomy-supportive ways can enhance student engagement during collaborative argumentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-266
Number of pages14
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Autonomy support
  • Collaborative argumentation
  • Engagement
  • Small-group discussion
  • Structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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