Tools for Scaffolding Students in a Complex Learning Environment: What Have We Gained and What Have We Missed?

Sadhana Puntambekar, Roland Hubscher
2005 Educational Psychologist  
This article discusses the change in the notion of scaffolding from a description of the interactions between a tutor and a student to the design of tools to support student learning in project-based and design-based classrooms. The notion of scaffolding is now increasingly being used to describe various forms of support provided by software tools, curricula, and other resources designed to help students learn successfully in a classroom. However, some of the critical elements of scaffolding
more » ... s of scaffolding are missing in the current use of the scaffolding construct. Although new curricula and software tools now described as scaffolds have provided us with novel techniques to support student learning, the important theoretical features of scaffolding such as ongoing diagnosis, calibrated support, and fading are being neglected. This article discusses how to implement these critical features of scaffolding in tools, resources, and curricula. It is suggested that if tools are designed based on the multiple levels of the student understanding found in a classroom, tools themselves might be removed to achieve fading.
doi:10.1207/s15326985ep4001_1 fatcat:qlpkrs5tcfevvflfooxo4pi6ua