with careful planning and preparation.
• Very time consuming
• Lack of sufficient personnel
• Potential for misjudging the zone of proximal development; success hinges on identifying the area that is just beyond but not too far beyond students’ abilities
• Inadequately modeling the desired behaviors, strategies or activities because the teacher has not fully considered the individual student’s needs, predilections, interests, and abilities (such as not showing a student how to “double click” on an icon when using a computer)
• Full benefits not seen unless the instructors are properly trained
• Requires the teacher to give up control as fading occurs
• Lack of specific examples and tips in teacher’s editions of textbooks
When assessing the benefits of scaffolding, it is necessary to consider the context in which you wish to implement the strategies and techniques. Additionally, you must know the learners and evaluate their particular needs first.
• Possible early identifier of giftedness
• Provides individualized instruction
• Greater assurance of the learner acquiring the desired skill, knowledge or ability
• Provides differentiated instruction
• Delivers efficiency – Since the work is structured, focused, and problems have been reduced or eliminated prior to initiation, time on task is increased and efficiency in completing the activity is increased.
• Creates momentum – Through the structure provided by scaffolding, students spend less time searching and more time on learning and discovering, resulting in quicker learning.
• Engages the learner.
• Motivates the learner to learn.
• Minimizes the level of frustration for the learner.
Current instantiations of the scaffolding construct have addressed a key aspect of scaffolding, i.e., that scaffolding is based on knowledge of the task and the difficulties that students have. However, the tools are permanent and unchanging; they provide structure and consistency by highlighting the aspects of the tasks that students should focus on. While this is by no means trivial, support becomes scaffolding only when it is adaptive, based on an ongoing diagnosis of student learning, and helps students to eventually internalize the knowledge and skills when the scaffolds are removed. More research is needed into how a system of scaffolding can be built, so that ongoing diagnosis and fading can be achieved in classroom situations.
2.3.4. Peer interaction: a good illustration and system of scaffolding
In addition to software tools, peer interactions have also been considered important for scaffolding in classrooms. In contrast to the adult being the expert in the traditional notion of scaffolding, in peer interactions students support one another through their interactions. Brown and colleagues (1993) emphasized the multidimensional nature of the interactions in a classroom, embodying the communities of learners’ approach. In this environment, the researchers note:
Learners of all ages and levels of expertise and interests seed the environment with ideas and knowledge that are appropriated by different learners at different rates, according to their needs and to the current states of the zones of proximal development in which they are engaged.
2.4. Mediation and Writing
In the context of academic learning, Vygotsky states that a student’s development within a ZPD