This study aims to identify research trends of scaffolding in the field of science education. To this end, both descriptive analysis and co-word analysis were conducted to examine the selected articles published in the Social Science Citation Index journals from 2000 to 2019. A total of 637 papers were retrieved as research samples through rounds of searching in Web of Science database. Overall, this study reveals a growing trend of science educators' academic publications about scaffolding in the recent two decades. In these sample papers, from 1,487 non-repeated keywords, we extracted 286 author-defined keywords shared by at least two studies as a benchmark dictionary. A series of co-word analyses were then conducted based on the dictionary to reveal the underlying co-occurring relationships of the words in title and abstract of the sample papers. Results showed that “scaffolding,” “support,” and “design” were the top three most frequently used keywords during 2000 and 2019. Visualization of co-word networks in each 5-year period further helps clarify both educators' common research foci and relevant research trends. Derived discussion and potential research directions are also provided.
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