Re: [xmca] Re: SCAFFOLDING

From: bb (
Date: Thu Jun 01 2006 - 05:34:17 PDT

Some additional thoughts about scaffolds, zopeds, and metaphor. First, there are some key concepts, perhaps principles, in scaffolds and zopeds that can function in the construction of meaning. First, for both, is the embedded notion of mediation. Scaffolds support the work to be done, are mediational of it, and there is separate work to be done, separate systems of activity perhaps, that are necessary to construct the scaffold. Embedded in the spatial metaphor of zone are boundaries that arguably carry the notion of something other than the learner -- an expansive space of cultural mediation, of which the learner's reach is limited. Second is the notion of proximity -- explicit in the zone metaphor and in its designation, and implicit in the scaffolding metaphor. Scaffolds rise as the work of building progresses, with the leading surface near the work to be done. It's inaccurate that scaffolds don't change because they do -- they seem fixed over a short timescale, bu!
 t certa
inly change, at least in height, as the work grows. Third, in two different levels of explicitness is the notion of development, or change over time. Forth, and also embedded in the metaphor is the notion that learning preceeds development, stated explicitly in the theory surrounding the zoped, and implicit in the scaffolding metaphor -- that learning is the work of building, and development is what is built.

There are flaws in all of this, and IMHO finding the flaws could be a good indication of being able to move, or having moved, beyond the metaphor. Fundamentally in the notion of scaffolds is "scaffolds and fading" -- the sense that scaffolds come down when the work is done, and this is especially inaccurate. If language is thought as a scaffold, it normally does not go away.

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