TLDR: What Is Scaffolding?

Scaffolding is the practice of providing instructional support for beginning learners. 

Instructors use scaffolding by breaking complex tasks down into smaller, more manageable chunks or by providing tools to make a task easier. Examples of scaffolding include sample worked problems in a math lesson, word banks on a vocabulary worksheet, and graphic organizers for taking notes or creating an outline.

As students become more adept, instructors gradually reduce and remove scaffolds until the student is able to perform the tasks independently.

This post is part of TLDR (“Too long, didn’t read”), a series of very short articles that explain common homeschooling terms.

Copyright 2022 by Drew Campbell, PhD. All rights reserved.

Drew Campbell is the author of  Living Memory, I Speak Latin, and Exploring the World through Story, and co-author, with Courtney Ostaff and Jennifer Naughton, of How to Homeschool the Kids You HaveDr. Campbell is a veteran homeschooler and has worked as a classroom teacher, private school administrator, and independent tutor.