Re: Scaffolding

From: Peg Griffin (
Date: Sat Jan 22 2005 - 07:42:42 PST

Maybe I'm scaffolding a red herring here, but ...

I've long thought that the scaffold metaphor had a kind of closed system
idea at its heart that the Zo-Ped does not.
Any scaffold maker does the construction with a particular building in mind,
So, for a scaffolder, it is reasonable to ask "With this little bit of help
will the learner do what the teacher/ assessor has in mind?" or "How
many/what kinds of little bits of help will get the learner to come to the
known answer?"

Contrast those with the question the Zo-Ped allows "With this little bit of
help, what will the learner do?" AND "What do the learner actions in the
Zo-Ped tell the teacher/assessor about the learner's future so the little
bit of help offered next is most likely really to be helpful?"
The zone collaborator doesn't know where or how far the learner will go.
They are just societal collaborators with an investment in the next steps.

The creative new, the future necessary for history to be history rather than
just tradition, is possible if not always realized in the Zo-Ped.
Recapitulation seems to be just about all there is in the scaffold.

It is definitely a lot easier methodologically to design measures that a lot
of people will accept with the scaffold questions, though. Somehow it
reminds me of my amazement (as an outsider to the field) about psychologists
being quite clearly accepting of the idea that "IQ is whatever IQ tests

Peg G.
(Oh my, after having had that phrase "scaffolding a red herring" pop into my
head, I got a full visualization of it. It's a fine image if a bit

----- Original Message -----
From: "Phil Chappell" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, January 22, 2005 4:09 AM
Subject: Re: Scaffolding

> I've always cited Wood, D.J., J.S. Bruner, and G. Ross, The role of
> tutoring in problem solving, Journal of Child Psychology and
> Psychiatry, 1976. 17(2): p. 89-100 as the pioneering paper, Nate. Then
> Bruner's book (oops, there goes the memory) published not long after
> that.
> Interesting coincidence - just returned from a second language
> conference where scaffolding was bandied around so carelessly that it
> seemed to become a metaphor for any activity or learning materials
> applied by the teacher in teaching/learning moments.
> Phil
> On 22/01/2005, at 4:08 AM, willthereallsvpleasespeakup who-is-at
> wrote:
> > Is Bruner the agreed upon "author" of scaffold in American
> > consciousness?
> >
> > --
> > Website:
> > Blog:
> > Email: willthereallsvpleasespeakup who-is-at
> >
> > "The zone of proximal development defines those functions that have
> > not yet matured but are in the process of maturation, functions that
> > will mature tomorrow but are currently in an embryonic state. These
> > functions could be termed the buds or flowers of development rather
> > than
> > the "fruits" of development. The actual developmental level
> > characterizes mental development retrospectively, while the zone of
> > proximal development characterizes mental development prospectively."
> > - L.S.V.
> >
> >

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Feb 01 2005 - 01:00:05 PST