Scaffolding Learning

I recently took a canoe paddle-making course with my son from an instructor who guaranteed that all participants would come away with a result that they could be proud of. One of the ways he ensured this was by giving us various “scaffolds” at different points in the process that helped us channel our work in the proper direction. Instead of starting with unformed wood, we were given pieces that already had the broad cuts made in them. This allowed us to concentrate on the detailing that forms the real heart of paddle-making. At each step we were provided with the proper tools and clear instructions needed to complete the job. As advertised, we all walked away with a result we were proud of and a deep understanding of the paddle-making process.

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