What is scaffolding?
Developmental psychologists have identified ‘scaffolding’ as an excellent way to teach a child while building their confidence. And there’s no exam that requires more confidence than GCSE Maths!
Scaffolding involves breaking a complex task down into smaller steps and supporting your child in mastering each of the smaller steps. In this way they experience success quickly and easily while building up to the harder, more complex goal.
As they master each step, you slowly withdraw the scaffolding until finally they can complete the task with no support.
How do you apply scaffolding to revision?
For example, when teaching a child to set the table, you might ask them to take the tablemats out by themselves and then do all of the other steps with them. Next time you give them the cutlery but they set them out on their own. They carry on with small steps until finally they can do the entire thing independently. This process is sociable and supportive. You are not instructing the child, you are simply doing something with them and they are learning from you. Success comes quickly and the child feels competent and able.
This concept of scaffolding can be easily translated to GCSE Mathematics revision. In particular, using our website’s video tutorials, you can help your child work through each topic question by question. In the first instance, use the video tutorials so your child understands the process for answering the question. Next, you could ask your child to attempt to answer the same question independently. They could do this with our formulae cheat sheets at hand. Once this is mastered, ask them to work through the question without our formula cheat sheets.
A lack of confidence can hinder but there’s no point really pushing a child out of their boundaries in a misplaced attempt to “make” them more confident. A lot of confidence develops through achieving success, so it doesn’t necessarily have to come first, because it’s more a self-perpetuating cycle.
If you’re looking for tips on how to help your child instil revision techniques as they study for their GCSE Maths Exam then head to our recent blog post