Importance of Scaffolding in Education

Importance of Scaffolding in Education (Major tips)5 min read

I know you will be wondering what importance Scaffolding will have in the Educational sector; it’s normal for everyone, in this article I will explain everything you need to know about the topic to help drive the point well.

There are different strategies and/or techniques involved in education. These strategies may be individualized or centralized depending on the abilities or academic strengths of the students.

Providing students with support or guidance through the learning process is known as scaffolding in Education or instructional scaffolding. It is a new teaching method that provides student-centered learning.

What is Scaffolding in Education?

Instructional scaffolding, just like in construction, is the provision of temporary support or guidance to a student by breaking down concepts into smaller bits to speed up understanding and completion of tasks as well as assist mastery of skills.

It is usually employed when a concept or skill is being introduced for the first time to students. Subsequently, as mastery of the concept, task or skill progresses, the support provided is gradually removed and the students learn to be independent, thus improving their knowledge and cognitive learning skills.

This teaching strategy is based on/begins with the Zone Proximal Development model created by psychologist Lev Vygostsky, who believed that teachers play an important role in a learner’s development.

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Before we talk about the importance of Scaffolding in Education, let’s look at the ways of Scaffolding in Education.

Major ways of Scaffolding

There are no specifics to the implementation of scaffolding as it varies from subject to subject or student to student. However, here are some ways to implement scaffolding:

Breaking concepts/tasks into smaller bits:

You can do this by giving mini-lessons that will enable the students the opportunity and time of progressive, deeper understanding.

Verbalizing/modeling the process:

Examples of what will be learned or the outcome should be shown to the students, and steps/thoughts should also be verbalized.

For example, solving a mathematical problem out loud and walking the students through the steps. This will provide a clear and broad picture for the students.

Teach concepts in multiple ways:

Students have different ways and rates of learning. Taking this into consideration, you can introduce a concept or idea in multiples ways and forms. You can show, tell and allow the practice. This will give room for better understanding and appreciation.

Use of visual aids:

Pictures, charts, videos, or physical objects help represent concepts or ideas to students. It arouses curiosity and thoughts.

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Allow practice time:

During lessons, allow students time and space to practice what has been thought. This will grow their independence and also help you check their level of understanding.

Allow talk time:

Students should be allowed time to process what new information they’ve gathered or learned.

You can achieve this by sharing your students into discussion groups where they can verbally communicate and discuss what they’ve learned. This also allows them to share views and perspectives, and thus creating more understanding.

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Use prompts:

During practice time in class, while moving around to check the progress of the students, you can give prompts by body movements such as nods or pointing or verbal reminders.

Build upon prior knowledge:

When teaching or introducing concepts, you can tap into your student’s already existing knowledge of the concept for better understanding.

You can achieve this by relating aspects of their practical life experiences to their learning, therefore, providing a relatable idea of what the concept is about.

Importance of Scaffolding in Education

It improves/encourages comprehension:

As stated above, scaffolding is a student-centered system and thus is tailored to meet the strengths of the student. This encourages a sufficient understanding of the concept.

Provides individualized instruction:

The means of scaffolding allows the teacher to provide instruction, resources, and support based on or according to the pace and strengths of the student. This allows the student to learn effectively.

Improves/ encourages critical thinking:

The progression of mastery and independence of skills and tasks, as well as the ability of the teacher to teach from multiple angles, help the students think out of the box and think critically.

Creates a more conducive environment for learning:

In scaffolding, the teacher identifies the best environment for understanding and thus creates it to assist the students.

Reduces anxiety, and promotes confidence and independence:

Teaching concepts in smaller bits reduces the difficulty of the task, and thus reduces the anxiety in the students. This also builds confidence and independence in the students.

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After we have talked about the importance of Scaffolding in Education, let’s look at the Challenges of Scaffolding in Education.

Challenges of Scaffolding in Education

  • It can be time-consuming: Setting up the materials necessary for scaffolding can be time-consuming initially. This is so, as you need to provide enough and effective scaffolds and also review means of scaffolding. Picking activities and appropriate support resources can also be demanding.
  • Knowing when to withdraw the scaffold/support so the students learn to be independent can be tasking. This is due to the fact that you may not know (accurately) the extent or level of comprehension or understanding the student has reached.
  • Not fully understanding or knowing the strengths or abilities of the student well enough to know the appropriate and effective scaffolds to use is a major challenge.

Conclusion on the Importance of Scaffolding in Education

Scaffolding is a strategy of teaching that is student-centered thus promoting intent understanding, independence, and critical thinking.

The gradual means of scaffolding aids the progressively understanding of concepts and ideas also challenges the student to be better.

Awesome one, I hope this article on the “Importance of Scaffolding in Education” answered your question.

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