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This is how scaffolding in education works


This is how scaffolding in education works

How do you learn? How do you leverage your current understanding to grasp new concepts? That’s the idea behind scaffolding education which, to be honest, is a fancy term for deeper learning. It’s a term that prompts me to visualize a ladder or that crazy scaffolding you see around buildings.

Scaffolding is one of the most fascinating, complex, yet easy-to-understand terms in education right now. It’s not the kind of typical education trend you see on blogs and Twitter nowadays but it’s worth understanding. Why, you ask? Because it’s a major factor in becoming an effective teacher.

You can become a powerful influence and effective teacher by leveraging the idea that students (and everyone, really) learn by applying their knowledge of other things to the topic at hand. For example, you can give a student a task to learn something. Anything.

The next step is for that students to leverage metacognition which is not as intense a thing as you might think. It’s simply the act of keeping an open mind and a healthy level of concentration. Students should apply past lessons, life experiences, and other knowledge to try and figure out that original task you assigned.

Metacognition is defined as “cognition about cognition”, or “knowing about knowing”. It comes from the root word “meta”, meaning beyond. It can take many forms; it includes knowledge about when and how to use particular strategies for learning or for problem solving. There are generally two components of metacognition: knowledge about cognition, and regulation of cognition. – Wikipedia

Finally, the student builds another level of scaffolding into the learning process. This involves questioning assumptions by asking questions like ‘why is that?’ or ‘what if…?’ and so forth.

At the end of the day, students will be challenged and learning in a new way. What’s better than that? Try this type of learning often and with a variety of lessons. Seriously.

This graphic from Mia MacMeekin is a great introduction to the idea of scaffolding in education and I thought it’d be quite useful to the Daily Genius community.

how scaffolding in education works

Jeff is an education and technology lover who has worked in far too many industries to count. Okay, like maybe 5 or 6. Jeff can indeed count that high but it's not recommended. Jeff also likes to write bios in the third-person.


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