The first formal definition of the term scaffolding was offered in 1976 by Jerome Bruner and his associates who described it as a “process that enables the child or novice to solve a problem, carry out a task or achieve a goal which would be beyond his unassisted efforts” (p. 90). Scaffolding involves an adult or teacher who provides supports for students in order to facilitate learning and to aid in task mastery. The teacher systematically builds on students’ experiences and knowledge as they are learning new skills and then gradually withdraws supports as they achieve mastery. This topic has taken on increasing relevance in today’s classrooms, with a growing focus on teacher–student interactions and their role in effective instruction. Scaffolding also relates to current ...

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