Parental Queries

Scaffolding Parenting Examples For Better Child Development

By Ankit Karki | March 22, 2023 09:15 AM

A father using scaffolding parenting method to teach his son to chop off food
A father using scaffolding parenting method to teach his son to chop off food( Source : nextstepparenting )

Scaffolding parenting examples include breaking down instructions, using games as tools, pairing kids etc. Lev Vygotsky proposed the concept in the 1920s.

The Scaffolding technique of parenting uses a form of support to introduce the kids to new concepts. The meaning of scaffolding in parenting is not much different from construction. You can build a strong parent child relationship through this technique.

In terms of construction, scaffolding is defined as a temporary structure meant to support the weight of the crew and the raw materials required for building.

Whenever a new building is to be erected, the crew first prepares a temporary structure using steel, wood, or a combination of both. Similarly, whenever a kid is to be introduced to a new concept, scaffolding parenting involves using information the kid already has to teach a new lesson.

For example, if a kid can recognize an alphabet, a parent can use the knowledge to teach them about the sound generated by it.

The concept of scaffolding in relation to raising a child was first introduced by a psychologist named Lev Vygotsky in the 1930s.

Lev concluded from his studies that a guided collaboration between a child and a knowledgeable person can help the kid learn a new skill or idea, which would not be possible without supervision.

Examples Of Using Scaffolding Technique In Parenting

Scaffolding parenting examples use the knowledge possessed by a kid to make them learn new lessons.

Scaffolding in child development can turn out to be a valuable tool in the overall mental and psychological growth of children. 

Here, we have discussed a few examples that can guide parents into the concept of scaffolding.

Playing games with kids is an effective method of teaching a new concept
Playing games with kids is an effective method of teaching a new concept( Source : westviewboyshome )

1) Breaking Instructions Into Manageable Units

Breaking down a complex idea into simpler concepts has been used in scientific and mathematical research for hundreds of years. 

This approach can also turn out to be a helpful tool in parenting as almost any subject is complex for a child. For instance, the simplification of mathematical equations into individual operations can help a kid perform better in maths.

One of the first things a child learns is the use of language. However, language is a complex structure that requires knowledge of words, grammar, and more. 

Hence, before a kid learns to form a sentence, they must be familiar with the concepts of the alphabet, words, verbs, adjectives, and so on. 

2) Using Games As A Learning Tool

Playing games is one of the few tasks a young child can perform with the required level of attention. 

As kids have a short attention span, teaching new tasks can be a daunting job for parents. Therefore, the use of games to introduce the younglings to a new task has turned out to be an effective tool. 

Competing a child with their siblings to finish an activity can help improve the kid's focus and develop a sense of self-confidence. For example, holding games like "who cleans up their rooms first" or "who finishes their homework faster?" can boost the overall mental development of a kid.

3) Pairing Kids To Finish Up A Task

During group activities, pairing a younger child with a more knowledgeable kid can help both.

It not only helps the less knowledgeable kid to learn new ideas, but it can also sharpen the other kid's leadership qualities.

This method is usually practiced by teachers to help their slow learners as children are much more open to each other as compared to an adult. 

4) Providing Hints And Suggestions

If a child has basic knowledge about a subject, providing hints and suggestions smoothens the learning of a complex idea.

For example, if a kid is aware of basic addition, you can use the knowledge they already have to introduce them to ideas like multiplication or addition of numbers with multiple digits. 

Similarly, if you are quizzing your child, the use of hints can generate a much better score as compared to the score obtained without any help.

5) Providing Options To Answer A Question

Scaffolding can significantly change the way a child learns a new idea.

For improving their academics, the use of multiple options can prove to be fruitful. If you are questioning a kid about their studies, providing 3-4 options and letting them select a single choice will lead the child to analyze each option and choose the correct one.

It not only refreshes the kid's memory but also helps them eliminate the wrong choice. 

6) Asking For Feedback

Most adults perceive kids as insignificant in major decision-making processes. This approach by adults can often undermine a child's mentality. 

Like any human being, a kid also wants to be useful and contribute in any way possible.

Asking for their feedback before making a decision can make the kid feel valuable. Similarly, feedback in educational lessons can help clear any doubt the child has in their mind. 

It also leads to the younglings communicating their confusions which can be later solved by the adult.

Scaffolding Technique In Education

Scaffolding examples In education include using models and technology to learn a new topic. 

Scaffolding has turned out to be an effective tool to teach complex concepts to young students. From classroom demonstrations to watching tutorial videos on the internet, there are multiple ways to implement scaffolding in a child's education.

Here are three methods of using the tool to improve the learning rate of a young child.

A teacher using a book to teach students a new lesson
A teacher using a book to teach students a new lesson( Source : graduateprogram )

1) Use Of Models

This is a classic example of leading by example as teachers are required to provide a demo or sample of what the student is supposed to learn.

Teachers use a model or provide a step-by-step process to kids to solve a given problem under this approach. 

For example, if the children are to solve the division of numbers in mathematics, the teachers should provide lessons on how to divide and demonstrate the process before asking the kids to solve those.

2) Hold Discussions

Children don't learn at the same rate; some children are fast learners, whereas others might require additional time to learn a specific subject.

Holding discussions between the kids is crucial to create a communication channel between the fast and slow learners. The brighter kids can share their thought processes or how they arrived at a given conclusion. 

This not only helps the slow learners to find out a faster solution but can also boost the confidence of the fast learners. 

3) Use Technology To Solve Problems

Technology has emerged in recent years as a tool for learning new skills, ideas, or life hacks. The existence of technologies like computers, laptops, and the internet helped people go through the corona pandemic. 

Once deemed as distractions for kids, computers and the accessibility of the internet became valuable tools for children to continue their studies even when the world was on lockdown. 

The technology can also serve as a scaffolding tool for children to improve their academics. Kids can access multiple websites and use the knowledge to clear out any doubts they have regarding a subject. 

Likewise, using video tutorials can help a child learn new lessons without the supervision of an adult.

Scaffolding Meaning In Psychology

Scaffolding in psychology refers to a teaching method that uses a student's existing knowledge to learn new skills with minimal assistance. 

The technique of scaffolding is generally used on older children. However, it can equally affect the learning capacity of an infant.

In 1976, Jerome Bruner defined the term as a process that enabled a kid to finish a task or solve a problem that would normally be beyond their capabilities.

Scaffolding requires a teacher to approach each kid individually
Scaffolding requires a teacher to approach each kid individually( Source : verywellfamily )

According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, the main objective of scaffolding is to make the student self-reliant. As mentioned above, this style of teaching was pioneered by Lev Vygotsky in the 30s. The Belarusian psychologist determined a teacher's role in a child's development as a facilitator or supporter rather than an information provider.

Further, the theory suggests that learning a new concept is a social process that is not possible in isolation. He coined the term "zone of proximal development," simply known as ZPD. The term implies the difference between what a kid can learn without assistance and what they can't complete without support. 

The process of scaffolding requires an adult or a teacher to understand the child's psychology. It is not possible without understanding the skills a kid currently possesses and the skills that require an adult's guidance or supervision. Hence, scaffolding is considered a collaborative process.

An experiment was conducted back in 2013 to determine how the scaffolding technique affected a child's psychology. Three teachers volunteered in the study and took part in children's plays in responsive capabilities. 

The study analyzed a series of children's behavior, including how they enjoyed a game, how long they could hold on before giving up, in what fashion they wanted to receive an adult's support, and whether or not they were positive to the teacher's action.

The experiment concluded that providing assistance in the right context was as important as providing support in the first place. Similarly, the study also discovered that scaffolding was not a universal law; instead, it differs from child to child. The technique suitable for one kid might not be useful for another. The researchers identified a few effective ways to implement the method, including:

  • providing models or demos for children,
  • communicating with the kid in both verbal and non-verbal style, 
  • letting the child lead,
  • using physical intervention, 
  • giving options or choices, and
  • treating the kid as a partner.

Scaffolding Affects Overall Child Development

Scaffolding in child development is a crucial tool that can shape the overall nature of a kid. 

Though psychologists became familiar with the term in the 20th century, this form of parenting has been practiced by humans for thousands of years. 

Scaffolding has been used as a tool to build confidence in youngsters, keep them engaged with an activity, and identify the learning rates of different children. 

Further, it also helps the children become more competitive and handle the stress that comes with competition. 

Examples Of Scaffolding Child Development

Scaffolding child development examples include holding group sessions, providing suggestions, and using prior knowledge possessed by the kids. 

Scaffolding in child development is a flexible tool and can help parents adjust their teaching methods based on the kid's learning rate and pattern.

Children love hanging out with their friends. And, hosting group interactions to introduce the kids to a new concept is a proven method to teach new ideas. 

Similarly, young kids learn at different rates. So, one-on-one interaction with them individually can help solve the issues that couldn't be worked out in a group session. 

Asking questions and providing suggestions/hints can also yield unexpected results. This method is valuable to kids with different learning paces as asking questions makes the adult aware of what the kid already knows and what he/she needs to learn.