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INSTRUCTIONAL SCAFFOLDING – PEDAGOGICAL TRAINING APPROACH

WHAT IS IT?

The learning process designed to promote a deeper level of learning.

Scaffolding is the support given during the learning process which is tailored to the needs of the student with the intention of helping the student achieve his/her learning goals. (R. Keith Sawyer The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

It is the support mechanism given by a more competent individual –trainer- that helps a learner successfully perform a task within its ZPD. (Zone of Proximal Development, Lev Vygotsky 1896–1934)


WHAT IT TAKES FOR INSTRUCTIONAL SCAFFOLDING TO BE EFFECTIVE:

The selection of the learning task

The task should ensure that learners use the developing skills that need to be mastered. The task should also be engaging and interesting to keep learners involved.

The anticipation of errors

After choosing the task, the teacher needs to anticipate errors the learners are likely to commit when working on the task. Anticipation of errors enables the scaffolder to properly guide the learners away from ineffective directions.

The application of scaffolds during the learning task

Scaffolds could be organized in “simple skill acquisition or they may be dynamic and generative”.

The consideration of emotive or affective factors

Scaffolding is not limited to a cognitive skill but it also relates to emotive and affective factors. During the task the scaffolder (expert) might need to manage and control frustration and loss of interest that could be experienced by the learner. Encouragement is also an important scaffolding strategy.