The concept of ‘scaffolding’ introduced by Wood et al. (1976) figures prominently in educa-tional research but lacks the empirical rigour that allows researchers to establish whetheror not teacher assistance to students is an instance of scaffolding. We used conversa-tion analysis to provide an empirical basis to the notion of ‘responsiveness’ (contingency)that Wood et al. treat as a fundamental characteristic of scaffolding. We analyzed dyadicteacher–student interactions in Dutch 1st grade secondary school mathematics classes anddeveloped responsiveness as an interactional phenomenon: the concept has to rest on theanalysis of how the learner’s actions and the tutor’s responses are interactionally broughtabout.
- Teacher–student interaction
- Conversation analysis