The zone of proximal development often abbreviated ZPD, is the difference between what a learner can do without help and what he or she can do with help. It is a concept introduced yet not fully developed by Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky (1896–1934) during the last two years of his life.
Instructional scaffolding is a learning process designed to promote a deeper level of learning. Scaffolding is the support given during the learning process which is tailored to the needs of the student with the intention of helping the student achieve his/her learning goals (Sawyer, 2006).
Instructional scaffolding is the provision of sufficient support to promote learning when concepts and skills are being first introduced to students. These supports may include the following:
- a compelling task
- templates and guides
- guidance on the development of cognitive and social skills
Use of instructional scaffolding in various contexts:
- modeling a task
- giving advice
- providing coaching
These supports are gradually removed as students develop autonomous learning strategies, thus promoting their own cognitive, affective and psychomotor learning skills and knowledge. Teachers help the students master a task or a concept by providing support. The support can take many forms such as outlines, recommended documents, storyboards, or key questions