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11.4: Six general elements of scaffolded instruction

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    1 – Sharing a Specific Goal

    It is the teacher’s responsibility to establish the shared goal. However, the learner’s interests must be recruited or enlisted through the teacher’s ability to communicate with the learner and achieve intersubjectivity (sharing intentions, perceptions, feelings and conceptions) (Zhao & Orey, 1999). The teacher must do some pre-assessment of the student and the curriculum. Achievement of curriculum objectives is planned as the teacher considers the needs of each student. The teacher must be considerate of some of the unique, unusual, and often ineffective problem-solving techniques that children use. Allowing input from the student on the shared goal will enhance intrinsic motivation.

    It will also help control the frustration level of the learner as he or she will feel that their interests have been validated. It will assist the learner in establishing a desire to master the goal where success is contingent upon one’s own ability in developing new skills. In this manner, the process of learning itself is esteemed, and the attainment of mastery is seen as being directly correlated with the effort put forth.

    2 -Whole Task Approach

    In the Whole Task Approach, the focus is on the overall goal to be attained throughout the entire process. Consequently, the task is learned as a whole instead of a set of individual sub-skills. Each feature of the lesson is learned as it relates to the whole task. This approach lessens the amount of passive knowledge on the part of the learner and the need for transfer is not as great. It must be noted that this approach is only effective if the learner does not experience extreme difficulty with any of the component skills needed to complete the whole task. Imagine how difficult it would be to scaffold a child in telling time if they could not identify the numbers 1 through 12

    3 – Immediate Availability of Help

    Frequent success is important in scaffolding, especially in helping control frustration levels of the learner. Student successes may be experienced more often if the MKO provides assistance in a timely and effective manner so as to enable the learner to proceed with the task. These successes, in turn, help to increase motivation through a positive self-efficacy and make the learner’s time and effort more productive. This procedure directly corresponds to the first rule of scaffolding as defined by Zhao & Orey (1999), which is to assist the learner with those tasks he/she is not yet able to carry out on his/her own.

    4 – Intention-assisting

    It is central to the scaffolding process to supply assistance to the learner’s present focus, thereby helping the learner with his/her current difficulties. In providing this immediate help with the current task at hand, a more productive learning environment is fostered because information has been related and conferred according to the learner’s focus keeping the learner in pursuit of the task.

    However, it is often necessary to redirect the intentions of the learner if they do not represent an effective strategy for completing the task. The teacher or MKO must be cognizant that there are numerous ways of accomplishing a certain task. If the learner’s current path is effective, it should be accepted as it is the essence of scaffolding to help the learner proceed with the least amount of assistance as possible. If the MKO finds him/herself consistently helping a learner with low level intentions, it may be a good idea to turn to coaching as a strategy to help the learner progress. This is beneficial in that it helps the learner examine the task from a different perspective so as to encourage higher level thinking skills.

    5 – Optimal Level of Help

    What the learner is able to do should be matched with the level of assistance provided. The learner should be given just enough help to overcome the current obstacle, but the level of assistance should not hinder the learner from contributing and participating in the learning process of that particular task. In other words, the assistance should only attend to the areas of the task that he/she cannot accomplish on his/her own. No intervention should be made if the current task is within the learner’s capabilities. However, if the learner lacks the necessary skills, a demonstration is needed.

    6 – Conveying an Expert Model

    An expert model can provide an explicit example of the task as the expert way of accomplishing the task. The techniques for accomplishing the task are clearly expressed. In an implicit demonstration, the information is outlined around the expert model.

    11.4: Six general elements of scaffolded instruction is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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