Scaffolding student participation in mathematical practices. (English)

ZDM, Math. Educ. 47, No. 7, 1067-1078 (2015).

Summary: The concept of scaffolding can be used to describe various types of adult guidance, in multiple settings, across different time scales. This article clarifies what we mean by scaffolding, considering several questions specifically for scaffolding in mathematics: What theoretical assumptions are framing scaffolding? What is being scaffolded? At what level is scaffolding implemented? What is the setting for scaffolding? And lastly, how can scaffolding manage the tension between providing appropriate calibrated support while also providing opportunities beyond learnersâ€™ current understandings? The paper describes how attention to mathematical practices can maintain a sociocultural theoretical framing for scaffolding and move scaffolding beyond procedural fluency. The paper first specifies the sociocultural theoretical assumptions framing the concept of scaffolding, with particular attention to mathematical practices. The paper provides three examples of scaffolding mathematical practices in two settings, individual and whole-class. Lastly, the paper considers how two teacher moves during scaffolding, proleptic questioning and revoicing, can serve to provide appropriate calibrated support while also creating opportunities beyond current proficiency.