Scaffolding is an interactive means of learning that occurs between adult and child. In this process the adult gently guides and supports the child’s learning, responding to the child’s level of participation by asking questions, making observations, and issuing new challenges according to the child’s responses. Together, one layer at a time, the adult and child discover new ideas, experience new emotions, learn new language, and strengthen their trusting bond.
Steps to Scaffolding…
As a parent, you have probably used the process of scaffolding without even realizing it while helping your child do something that he couldn’t have done on his own. You have used scaffolding when you have helped your child put a puzzle together by asking questions, making suggestions, and giving hints. You may have noticed that the next time your child put that puzzle together, he needed less help. Through scaffolding, skills are mastered.
Examples of scaffolding strategies include:
- Asking questions to help children clarify or extend their learning;
- Making suggestions or providing materials that lead children further in their explorations;
- Encouraging and sustaining effort with [your] presence;
- Supporting as children struggle with new challenges;
- Demonstrating and teaching new information and skills that children need to proceed; and
- Reinforcing learning by providing opportunities for children to practice or communicate about their learning.
-The Essentials of Early Education, by Carol Gestwicki,p. 98.