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Is Scaffolding in education the answer or just a means to spoon feed students and stunt them creatively?

Scaffolding in education is highly respected. It seems as though it is the answer to the education crisis but honestly when you carefully go over the trends and issues in education, you will realize that scaffolding is the least of our concern. There are so many articles on education issues out there but this particular one gave me a lot of insight. What if scaffolding is the problem? Based on articles on education issues, is it safe to conclude that the problem with the system is scaffolding?

Megan Page

in Education News

1 answer

1 answer

Victoria Fowler on February 6, 2018

First of all, I’ve read the article. You are right, it is very insightful but you’ve got it all wrong. Education scaffolding isn’t the problem. The fact that you would say it is a method of spoon-feeding means that you probably don’t understand the method. Scaffolding acts like a structure supporting the students as they learn and try to grasp a subject. You could compare it to having training wheels on a bike. The teacher helps the students reach a specific target step by step. This is more beneficial than giving the class a complex equation, for instance, and expecting them to solve it on their own without any help.

Going over different articles on educational issues shed light on some very key problems facing the education system. Using the article you shared, you can see that the approach to teaching is the problem. Students are taught to understand and remember/cram yet they have no practical skills to back the knowledge up. Educators don’t go past the remembering phase with their students. If they do not encourage application, evaluation and the creativity to make something new or bring out a new idea then all the scaffolding they used at the beginning proves to be useless.

The issues and trends in education point towards dormant students. We are not raising innovators but instead very good crammers. It isn’t enough to read, understand and pass a test. Students should be challenged mentally by getting their hands dirty. Once theory is locked down, teachers should encourage students to put their theory into practice. In order to keep up with this ever-changing technological world, it’s important to move away from passive learning and get to a more active role.

The beauty of scaffolding is that it builds students’ confidence by giving them short achievable targets. Bit by bit, as the class catches up and masters one hurdle, the teacher moves a step further. Scaffolding places the teacher as a guide directing the students. This technique moves the students towards better understanding as the teacher provides temporary support. This support is gradually removed to give the students independence. It is at this point where introducing the practicality of the subject would make sense, allowing the students to apply themselves. It is very important to encourage individual work as well as supporting group level work. A student may understand a concept as part of a group but once left to his/her own devices, may stumble.

Kayla Bowen2 years ago

I recently graduated high school last year and I’d like to make a comment or two. Scaffolding in education is probably one of the best things to have ever happened to me. I wasn’t always the brightest kid on the block but my math teacher really encouraged me and helped me get a full understanding of the mystery that is algebra and trig. I was reading about scaffolding the other day and realized that what my teacher did was a mix of scaffolding and differentiating. Scaffolding happens when modifications are made to benefit the entire class body while differentiation, on the other hand, is directed towards individual students. I think it’s a great idea to fuse the two because it ensures that the whole class progresses while individuals are also on track. I do feel that more can be done in terms of making the classes but so far, I’m happy with what I got.

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