Tuesday, March 29, 2011

scaffolding, two forms...

There are two ways that educational scaffolding should be considered. A set of scaffolds can lift a worker to a higher level to perform operations otherwise impossible, but scaffolding can also be used to provide a rigid structure within which a complicated construct can be given shape. Either of these can serve as a metaphor for educational processes. In the case of the latter version of scaffolding, the interior space within the scaffold forms Vygotsky's zone of proximal development. So you can think of scaffolding as a platform upon which to stand in preparation for climbing to the next level, or you can see it as a seamless engagement in lifelong learning. The choice is yours.

Make, fix and create.


  1. Doug-

    Thank you for your insight on inquiry and scaffolding. It has prompted me to start a conversation with my science department about how we can make our science curriculum more meaningful- as opposed to remaining test driven.


  2. In education circles scaffolding is usually described as a temporary support that can be gradually withdrawn as a student makes progress. Just as a scaffolding on a construction site serves to temporarily enable builders to complete their work, in the end the scaffolding is taken down once the building can stand on its own foundation.

    This raises an interesting question as to the difference between a scaffold and a tool. I use a VariGrind jig to grind a fingernail profile on my turning gouges, because I lack the skill to grind freehand. As such the jig is a tool that let's me get my work done. At the moment I have intention of "outgrowing" it. But if I were on the path to learning freehand grinding the jig would function as a scaffold - a temporary support that lets me work now, and gives me a references against which I can compare my freehand grinds. Eventually I would stop using it.

  3. Thanks for giving choice with these two forms.

  4. Thanks for sharing information on scaffolding. Looking forward to more posts about scaffolding in future..