chapter  8
13 Pages

What is missing in the metaphor of scaffolding?

The scaffolding metaphor In 1976, Wood, Bruner, and Ross (1976) introduced the term scaffolding in the context of an analysis of adult-child interaction. They used the term as a metaphor for the process by which an adult assists a child to carry out a task beyond the child's capability as an individual agent. They described scaffolding as consisting of the adult's "'controlling' those elements of the task that are initially beyond the learner's capacity, thus permitting him to concentrate upon and complete only those elements that are within his range of competence." They argued, furthermore, that "the process can potentially achieve much more for the learner than an assisted completion of the task," and that it could result in "development of task competence by the learner at a pace that would far outstrip his unassisted efforts." ... The mechanism assumed to lead to this success was summarized in a companion paper by Wood and Middleton (1975, p. 190).