Scaffolding is an instructional technique in which the teacher initially provides a relatively high degree of structure and then gradually withdraws the structure as the students become more proficient on their own. While initially applied to verbal learning, scaffolding can be applied to a variety of learning areas.

Here are five criteria for effective scaffolding.

  1. Tasks should be designed to allow students to contribute to an activity as it develops.
  2. Tasks should be built upon knowledge and skills students already possess, but should require them to add to their knowledge and skills.
  3. Tasks should be provided within a highly structured learning environment.
  4. The teacher and students should share responsibility for learning success.
  5. Students should assume greater responsibility for controlling the progress of a task as their competency increases.