Maternal Scaffolding in the Child's Zone of Proximal Development across Tasks: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

By Kermani, Hengameh; Brenner, Mary E. | Journal of Research in Childhood Education, Fall-Winter 2000 | Go to article overview

Maternal Scaffolding in the Child's Zone of Proximal Development across Tasks: Cross-Cultural Perspectives


Kermani, Hengameh, Brenner, Mary E., Journal of Research in Childhood Education


Abstract. This study examined cultural differences in the amount and type of maternal scaffolding of children's learning and their effects on children's independent performance across two distinct activities: goal-oriented vs. free play. Twenty Iranian immigrant and 20 Anglo-American mothers with their preschool children participated in this study. Analyses of maternal scaffolding revealed that Iranian immigrant mothers were more directive in their teaching strategies than Anglo-American mothers in the goal-oriented activity. These differences disappeared in the free play, however. Furthermore, maternal sensitivity was examined in relation to task demand and children's level of competence. No cultural differences were observed between the two groups of mothers' sensitivity to their children's level of competence: Both groups altered their teaching strategies to adjust to the task demand, as well as to the child's level of competence. An examination of children's independent performance revealed no cultural di fferences: The children performed equally well. The authors observed a clear connection between culture and mothers' selection of particular scaffolding strategies in relation to the activity type and the child's level of competence. The study suggests that maternal sensitivity to the child's level of competence may carry a greater weight in terms of instructional outcomes than does the maternal communicative pattern. The findings specifically recommend the need for re-evaluating parental scaffolding strategies to 1) include an appreciation of their effectiveness and appropriateness, and 2) differentiate parental directives from parental intrusiveness and control.

In the past few years, a great deal of attention has been directed to the social context of children's development of cognitive skills (e.g., Baker, 1994; Bruner, 1985; Fleer, 1992; Resnick, 1991; Rogoff 1990; Sternberg & Williams, 1995; Tudge & Rogoff, 1989). Much of this attention stems from Vygotsky's (1978) sociocultural theories, especially his notion about the zone of proximal development (ZPD), which represents the difference between what a child can do with adult guidance and what he/she is able to do independently (Levine, 1993). According to Vygotsky, children's future independent performance is largely dependent upon the types of guidance provided by the adult in the ZPD. Adults create the zone and mediate the process of learning by providing guidance that reflects cultural values.

Much of the early research on cognitive socialization was done in the context of mother-child interactions, which remains a strong focus for contemporary parenting behavior research. Using Vygotsky's perspective, Wood, Bruner, and Ross (1976) introduced the concept of "scaffolding" to describe the supportive strategies adults use to guide children in solving cognitive problems. This concept has been used most frequently to describe the kinds of instructional exchanges that take place in informal educational situations, such as parent-child interactions. Rogoff and Wertsch (1984) developed this concept further in their presentation of the terms "orchestration" or "transfer" to describe the process from other-regulation to self-regulation. Successful scaffolding requires establishing "intersubjectivity," or a shared understanding of the task (Newman, Griffin, & Cole, 1989; Rogoff, 1990; Rommetveit, 1974). In this process, the caregiver leads the child toward such understanding and helps him/her develop his/her own conception of the task. Such an outcome is achieved by creating a balance of support through scaffolding. This process has been called "assisted performance" (Tharp & Gallimore, 1988), "cognitive apprenticeship" (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989; Rogoff, 1990), "guided participation" (Rogoff, 1991), and "responsive teaching" (Gaskins, Anderson, Pressley, Cunicelli, & Satlow, 1993). Together, these theories present a consensus about socially mediated models of learning. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Maternal Scaffolding in the Child's Zone of Proximal Development across Tasks: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.