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What IS Scaffolding?

Jennifer Lass

on 15 August 2010

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Transcript of Scaffolding

Scaffolding What is Scaffolding? "Scaffolding" is defined
as the teaching-and-learning
process, wherein the adult sets mental
"scaffolds" through talk, offering a "vicarious
form of consciousness" (Bruner, 1985). Scaffolding can also
be defined as the process
of providing, and gradually
removing, external support
for learning,
(Bodrova,1996). Wood, Bruner,
& Ross (1976)
suggest that the expert
provide scaffolding within
the ZPD to enable the novice to
perform at a higher level. With
scaffolding the task itself is not changed
but what the learner initially does is made
easier with assistance. Gradually, the level of assistance decreases as the learner takes more responsibility for the performance of
the task.
ZPD is
the Zone
of Proximal
It is foundational in the Vygotskian
Framework. What
ask? One cannot
have scaffolding
without the ZPD:
Zone of Proximal
Development. It is defined: "Those
behaviors that are on the edge of
emergence. It
has two
levels: 1. The lowest level is
what the children can do
independently. 2. The highest level is what the children can do with maximum assistance, (Bodrova, 1996)." Some history on textual
scaffolding for developing
fluency in beginning readers: In Mesmer's study (2010), she briefly lists some historical textual
1800's Webster's Blueback Speller and the McGuffey Readers
1930's Dick and Jane with the look-say approach
1960's letter/sound patterns
1980's qualitatively leveled little books
1990's decodable text reemerges
"At various stages of development readers
may need all of the textual scaffolds offered
by all these materials," (Mesmer, 2010). One type of scaffolding: Literacy scaffolding:
As defined by Boyle (1990),
"Temporary frameworks that
offer students immediate
access to the meanings and
pleasure of print." "Storybook reading is another
communication that provides a scaffold by modeling language
and story patterns through a
pleasurable experience shared
with the child by a parent, sibling, teacher, or friend," (Boyle, 1990). "These patterns provide the basis for
comprehending other stories and for
telling and writing them as well, (Boyle,
1990)" "The learning is embedded within
natural social interactions aimed
at sharing communication and
negotiating meaning," (Boyle, 1990). Through this interaction the student
is then moved to the next level,
working within the Vygotskian ZPD. http://www.ehow.co.uk/video_4440824_kind-books-read-child.html 1. Englert researches three literacy programs
All "emphasize text structure instruction with the provision of instructional scaffolds to support students' participation in a literacy discourse and strategies in advance of independent performance," (Englert, 2009). Results: Englert found that although we are moving towards a learning environment with computer based text structures and scaffolds, "never forget that it is the teaching-learning processes that lie at the heart of creating effective learners. Conversations can never be overlooked as the mental pathway that leads to deeper learning and understanding, and it is that inner conversation that remains the centerpiece of my literacy work with the teachers and students," (2009). RESEARCH: 11. Panselinas researches two types of interaction that can be characterized as scaffolding process.
a. Scaffolding indivdual
b. Scaffolding collective
thinking Results: "When a teacher intervenes, setting mental
scaffolds through talk the process of collaborative knowledge construction leads students to express the right answer to the question posed. It is apparent that the ultimate purpose of the teacher is the pursuit of independent individual competence of solving similar exercises in the future as well as the gradual construction of mutual understanding," (Panselinas, 2009.)


Bodrova, E., & Leong, D.J. (2007). Tools of the mind:The Vygotskian approach to early childhood education (2nd ed.) Colombus, OH: Prentice Hall.

Boyle, O.F., & Peregoy, S.F. (1990). Literacy scaffolds: Strategies for first-and second-language readers and writers. Reading Teacher, 44 (3), 194-200. Retrieved from ebscohost.

Bruner, J.S. (1985). Vygotsky: A historical and conceptual perspective. In J.V. Wertsch (Ed.), Culture, communication and cognition, Vygotskian perspectives. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press.

Clark, K.F., & Graves, M.F. (2005). Scaffolding students' comprehension of text. Reading Teacher, 58(6), 570-580. Retrieved from ebscohost.

Englert, C.S. (2009). Connecting the dots in a research program to develop implement, and evaluate strategic literacy interventions for struggling readers and writers. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 24(2), 104-120. Retrieved from ebscohost.

Mesmer, H.E. (2010). Textual scaffolds for developing fluency in beginning readers: Accuaracy and reading rate in qualitatively leveled and decodable text. Literacy Research and Instruction, 49, 20-39. Retrieved from ebscohost.

Panselinas, G. & Vassilis, K. (2009). Scaffolding through talk in groupwork learning. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 4, 86-103. Retrieved from ebscohost.

Wood, D., Bruner, J., & Ross, G. (1976). The role of tutoring in problem solving. Journal of Child Psychology, 17(2), 89-100.
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