Scaffolding is using the process of solving a problem in front of students as a way to teach them the problem. If might remember this from some of your classes growing up. A teacher would explain one or two key concepts and then work through several example problems, solving them in a step-by-step process. The teacher would then ask you and the other students to work on problems by yourselves or in groups.
In an ideal setting, the teacher would be able to roam around the classroom offering help as needed. But given the state of modern class sizes, students would have a better hope of winning the lottery than getting enough attention from the teacher to actually help.
What is Vygotsky’s Scaffolding in Psychology?
You know how sometimes you’re trying to learn something, but it just seems too hard to wrap your head around? That’s where scaffolding comes in. It’s like having a super smart friend who’s willing to help you out when you’re struggling.
Let’s say you want to bake a fancy cake, but you’re not exactly a baking whiz.
Luckily, you have a friend who’s a master baker, and they’re willing to lend a hand. Instead of giving you the whole recipe at once and leaving you to fend for yourself, they break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. They guide you through each step, explaining things in a way that makes sense to you and giving you tips along the way. Before you know it, you’re whipping up a cake that would make Mary Berry proud!
That’s basically what scaffolding is – having someone who knows more than you do help you understand something that you wouldn’t be able to figure out on your own.
It’s based on Vygotsky’s theory of the zone of proximal development, which is just a fancy way of saying that you can do some things by yourself, but you need help with other things. Imagine it like a set of concentric circles – the innermost one is what you can do on your own, the next one out is what you can do with help, and the outermost one is what you can’t do yet, even with help.
So there you have it, folks! Vygotsky’s scaffolding is like having a baking buddy who helps you make the perfect cake, and the zone of proximal development is like a set of circles that show what you can do alone and what you need help with.
How Does Scaffolding Work in the Classroom?
Picture yourself as a little bird trying to learn how to fly. You’re not quite sure how to flap your wings or how to soar through the air, but luckily, you have a wise old bird to show you the ropes. At first, the wise old bird does most of the flying, showing you how to flap your wings and glide through the sky. They explain everything they’re doing, so you can understand how to fly better.
As you start to get the hang of it, the wise old bird steps back a bit, and you get to do more of the flying yourself. They’re still there to guide you and give you tips, but you’re doing most of the work now. And little by little, you get better and better until you’re flying on your own like a pro!
That’s basically how scaffolding works in the classroom. The teacher is like the wise old bird, helping you learn how to do something new. They show you how to do it at first, then gradually step back and let you do more of the work on your own. And before you know it, you’re a master at whatever it is you were learning!
What are the Pros and Cons of Vygotsky Scaffolding?
let’s talk about the pros and cons of Vygotsky scaffolding!
First, let’s talk about the good stuff:
- It helps students achieve their learning goals by giving them explicit instruction and working with them until they can do the task on their own. It’s like training wheels on a bike – you start with some help, but eventually, you’ll be able to ride on your own.
- It provides customized learning for each student, depending on their zone of proximal development. It’s like having a tailor-made suit that fits you perfectly – the teacher adjusts the instruction to match your unique learning style.
- It challenges students to learn beyond what they already know by teaming up with others. It’s like a game where you level up by learning from a teammate who is more experienced than you.
- This approach promotes interaction and discussion between students in small groups. It’s like a fun club where you get to share and learn new things with your buddies.
Now, let’s talk about the not-so-good:
- Scaffolding requires time and effort from both the teacher and the student. It’s not a quick fix or a one-size-fits-all solution.
- In larger classrooms, it can be challenging for teachers to adapt their instruction for each student’s zone of proximal development. It’s like trying to cook a meal for a big family with different tastes and preferences – it requires a lot of planning and preparation.
So, there you have it – the ups and downs of Vygotsky scaffolding. But overall, it’s a great tool for helping students learn and grow in a collaborative and engaging way.
How Can Teachers Use Vygotsky Scaffolding?
To begin, we will talk about some suggested guidelines for using scaffolding.
First and foremost, choose tasks that match the goals of the curriculum and students’ needs. You’ll also need to allow students to create their own instructional goals based on their current zone of proximal development, which may help increase their motivation to succeed.
Using a variety of instructional supports to guide learners through a task such as asking questions, creating diagrams and discussing related stories to help them form a connection to the material they’re learning and information they already know is also recommended.
Finally, encourage learners to use less instructional support as they become more comfortable with new content so they can have less instructional scaffolding and can complete the work independently.
So, how do educators implement Vygotsky’s scaffolding?
Teachers use scaffolding to support student learning by slowly shifting the engagement of learning from the educator to the learner. This gradual release is a common method of scaffolding in the classroom in which the teacher models a new concept, gives students a chance to work alongside the teacher and small groups and finally independently.
We can break this down into three stages: “I do” explicit teaching, “we do” shared demonstration and guided practice, and “you do” independent practice.
During the “I do” stage, the teacher provides direct instruction to the class by explaining the new material. They then model the correct behavior of how to complete the work. In the second stage, commonly referred to as “we do,” the students become more responsible for their learning. The educator places more ownership on practicing what they just taught to the students. Finally, in the third stage, the scaffolding moves into independent practice, where students can complete their work independently.
Remember that Vygotsky scaffolding has both advantages and disadvantages.
While it challenges and engages students, provides an opportunity for success, and allows for differentiated learning, it can also be time-consuming and require more preparation on the teacher’s part.