Posted in Distance Learning, Education

Scaffolding

sunday school.pngOne of my favorite lesson in constructivism is scaffolding. Scaffolding is the guidance provided by the more knowledgeable other (MKO) that fits the current skill of the learner. According to Vygotsky, there is a zone of proximal development (ZPD) where the
actualization of learning is at its highest potential.

My mother is my perfect example. She started to learn how to use a computer when she was fifty-five years old. We started with the basics e.g. turn on/off the computer, created an email for her and started teaching her how to type letters, press delete, space and enter buttons etc. At first she will send me an email with no periods, no commas, and no spaces, but later on, she learned how to type sentences correctly and she even added colored fonts! One decade later, I can call her a tech-savvy grandma 🙂 She has a computer, a tablet device and a mobile phone which she used for FaceTime, Facebook, Viber, Skype, watch on YouTube etc.

Scaffolding needs patience and also restraint. Teachers should be aware when to give help and what amount of help should be given so that it will not impair learning.

Aside from scaffolding, I also understood the key assumptions of constructivism. That learning is an active rather than a passive process and learning is meaningful when it is authentic and real.

Some students may not appreciate group projects because of the different personalities of each member, clashing ideas, the “drama” in going thru the process or some just prefer working solo. But this teaching method provides a lot of learning opportunities thru collaboration, teamwork, critical thinking, social interaction, constructing knowledge and building personalities.

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