ScaffoldingVygotsky and Socio-cultural Learning
What is scaffolding in an educational context?
The idea of using scaffolding in education was first introduced by Wood, Bruner, and Ross (1976). They defined scaffolding as an “adult controlling those elements of a task that are essentially beyond the learner’s capacity, thus permitting him to concentrate upon and complete only those elements that are within his range of competence” (1976). Scaffolding is helpful with understanding how to aim instruction within what Vygotsky calls a child’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). It can support and promote the child’s learning and development.
What is the role of scaffolding?
The role of scaffolding is to increase the child’s repertoire of skills and understandings by breaking the steps down into manageable, achievable pieces of information. The more knowledgeable other (MKO) not only helps motivate learners by providing just enough support to enable them to accomplish the goal, but also provides questions that might help learners to solidify information (Wood, et al., 1976). Keep in mind that scaffolding is a gradual process where the child will learn to perform independently so that new, more challenging skills or information can be introduced by the expert (Stone, 1998).
How can I use scaffolds in education?
To facilitate the transition from assisted to independent learning, a teacher needs to scaffold student learning by first designing and then following a plan for providing and withdrawing appropriate amounts of assistance at appropriate times (Tools of the Mind, 2014). Some examples of scaffolding, according to Bransford, Brown, and Cocking (2000) include tasks that:
* Motivate or enlist the child’s interest related to the task
* Simplify the task to make it more manageable and achievable for a child
* Provide some direction in order to help the child focus on achieving the goal
* Clearly indicate differences between the child’s work and the standard or desired solution
* Reduce frustration and risk
* Model and clearly define the expectations of the activity to be performed
* Use hints, prompts or cues
* Encourage social interactions through play or designed group activities
* Introduce children to special tools and behaviours they can use.
… provides a child with a great deal of support during the early stages of learning.
Please watch the following video and be ready to discuss the importance of providing scaffolds in student learning and development.
Why is important to use scaffolds in learning and development?