What is Scaffolding in Education?

Imagine giving a student a 25-page lesson to read and learn by themselves. No guidance, no break-ups of lessons nothing. It will probably not go over very well. But instead, if the teacher were to break down the lesson into smaller parts, the student will learn more efficiently. This is what we call scaffolding. Here we will learn some ways to scaffold your lessons and all the benefits it provides. So let us get started!

Scaffolding teaching strategies

Scaffolding Teaching Strategies

When faced with the unenviable task of learning a big lesson many students often find themselves clueless and overwhelmed. And this is the exact moment a teacher can step in with their experience and expertise. One way to make learning more manageable and easy is to scaffold the lessons into smaller chunks.

Scaffolding involves not only breaking up the lessons into smaller portions but also providing the students with guidance and a structure. This will provide the students with a stronger understanding of the lessons. And it also ultimately allows them the ability to be more independent in their study. Let us take a look at some effective scaffolding strategies that teachers can employ.

Effective Scaffolding Strategies

  • Demonstrations and Models
  • Explain the Concept
  • Use Visual Aides
  • Allot time to talk and practice
  • Pause and Review

1] Demonstrations and Models

Visual learning is a very important tool when teachers scaffold lessons. Students often learn much better when you show them an example of what the lesson teaches. Thus modelling, demonstrations, experiments etc. are the cornerstone of scaffolding.

Teachers can employ activities to demonstrate the lesson as well. And verbalizing the thought process is also another important step. It improves the cognitive ability of the children.

2] Explain the Concept

Explaining the core concept of the lesson is crucial. Approach the concept in multiple teaching styles. Then the student can try for themselves which suits them best. Show and tell them via multiple ways and mediums and they will learn more effectively.

Teachers can also tap into the students prior experiences and knowledge. If they can relate the concept to their own lives and connect with it, they will grasp it more efficiently.

3] Use Visual Aides

Visual aides such as pictures, charts, models etc. are very important tools in scaffolding. It allows the students to see the idea visually represented. This makes it easy for them to understand and grasp new and challenging information with relative ease.

4] Allot Time to Talk and Practice

All new information takes time to be processed in the minds of the students. One of the best methods to do so is to have them articulate their thoughts and lessons. Verbal discussion with their peers and structured discussions in their classrooms is the best way to go about this.

And after you are done teaching a concept, teachers must help the students practice it as well. Guided practice is an important tool in scaffolding. So write a short essay, practice some math problems etc. as a classroom activity.

5] Pause and Review

Now it is time to check the progress of the students. Give the students time to read the lesson themselves and then take a pause. Allow them the time to process the information. And then ask a strategic and specific question. This allows students to have a discussion and make sure that they participate. If the class seems confused about the answers, you may need to try a different approach.

A class is made up of diverse students with different learning methods. So a teacher will often need to mix-and-match various tools and techniques of scaffolding lessons. But with time and effort, the end result is quite rewarding for both teachers and students.

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