005: How to “scaffold” children’s learning to help them succeed

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When I started talking with people about the idea for this podcast, one theme that came up consistently was the idea of supporting our children’s growth and development. A friend of mine summed it up most concisely and articulately by asking “how do I know when to lead and when I should step back and let my daughter lead?”

This episode covers the concept of “scaffolding,” which is a method parents can use to observe and support their children’s development by providing just enough assistance to keep the child in their “Zone of Proximal Development.”

This tool can help you to know you’re providing enough support…but not so much that your child will never learn to be self-sufficient.

References

Berk, L.E., & Winsler, A. (1995). Scaffolding children’s learning: Vygotsky and Early Childhood Education. Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Brown, J.S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher 18(4), 32-42.

Courtin (2000). The impact of sign language on the cognitive development of deaf children: The case of theories of mind. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education 5,3 266-276. Retrieved from: http://jdsde.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/3/266.full.pdf

Greenough, W.T., Black, J.E., & Wallace, C.S. (1987). Experience and Brain Development. Child Development 58, 539-559. Full article available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/James_Black11/publication/20116762_Experience_and_Brain_Development/links/552b9d830cf21acb091e4d90.pdf

Hirsh-Pasek, K. & Golinkoff, R.M. (2003). Einstein never used flash cards. Emmaus, PA: Rodale.

Johnson, J.S. & Newport, E.L. (1989). Critical period effects in second language learning: The influence of maturational stage on the acquisition of English as a second language. Cognitive Psychology 21, 60-99. Full article available at: http://www.psy.cmu.edu/~siegler/JohnsnNewprt89.pdf

Lancy, D.F. (2015). The Anthropology of Childhood: Cherubs, Chattel, Changelings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

McCarthy, E.M. (1992). Anatomy of a teaching interaction: The components of teaching in the ZPD. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, April, San Francisco, CA.

Pratt, M.W., Green, D., MacVicar, J., & Bountrogianni, M. (1992). The mathematical parent: Parental scaffolding, parent style, and learning outcomes in long-division mathematics homework. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 13, 17-34. Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/019339739290003Z

Roberts, R.N. & Barnes, M.L. (1992). “Let momma show you how”: Maternal-child interactions and their effects on children’s cognitive performance. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 13, 363-376. Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/019339739290036H

Thompson, R.A., & Nelson, C. (2001). Developmental science and the media: Early brain development. American Psychologist 55(1) 5-15. Full article available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/12089227_Developmental_Science_and_the_Media_Early_Brain_Development

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