Rosenshine principle providing scaffolded support


Rosenshine principle providing scaffolded support

This page aims to shed light on an essential teaching strategy - the principle of providing scaffolds, as promoted by Barak Rosenshine and many others.

Rosenshine's principle regarding scaffolded support embodies designing effective, temporary structures to aid students in comprehending new material. This technique assists in the systematic modeling of new knowledge, forming a type of cognitive apprenticeship that safeguards the learning process.

The goal behind scaffolded supports is threefold - reducing cognitive load, ensuring eventual student competence, and providing guided practice. These are all achieved by tailoring each learning experience to your students' needs and gradually withdrawing these supports as students gain increased independence.

Rosenshine principle providing scaffolded support - leads to comprehension

To grasp the Rosenshine principle of providing scaffolded support effectively, envision if you will the skeletal type of scaffolding that surrounds a building during construction. Like this physical structure, educational scaffolding provides a temporary support system that helps students build their knowledge, one block at a time.

A key feature of scaffolding is that helps to reduce cognitive load, making difficult tasks more manageable. A master teacher breaks down complex tasks into smaller, digestible sequences, systematically leading students toward comprehension. This guided process makes learning more efficient, focused, and less overwhelming for students, particularly students with learning difficulties.

This principle of providing scaffolded support means that we ensure student competence with the acquisition of new skills. As classroom teacher, you continually monitor student understanding, while providing targeted help when needed. Feedback offered during scaffolded tasks allows learners to improve their performance over time and strengthen their competence and confidence with a new skill.


Providing scaffolded support also means delivering abundant guided practice. With the systemic use of models and examples, the teacher demonstrates the correct way of executing a task. Learners then practice this under the teacher's watchful eye, ensuring correct application of the new knowledge or skill.

An essential component of the Rosenshine principle provide scaffolds is the gradual withdrawal of these supports. As students gain confidence and mastery over the material, the scaffolds are methodically removed, driving students towards independent problem-solving.

Imagine a classroom infused with enthusiasm, teachers and students engaged in a shared journey of exploration. This vibrant classroom is not just a fantasy, but the very reality created by effective scaffolded support.

The implementation of Rosenshine's principle of scaffolded support, particularly for perceived difficult tasks, provides a superior pathway for learning to occur. Scaffolded supports are not just a teaching strategy; they're the building blocks of a successful, engaging, and effective learning environment.

Rosenshine principle providing scaffolded support - promote independent learners

The Rosenshine principle of scaffolding empowers students to gradually handle more complex tasks, promoting a level of independence. As students master the art of learning, the scaffolded supports are gradually withdrawn, fostering confidence and independence.

Providing scaffolded support is a dynamic process. This fluctuating system adjusts the level of assistance based on the learner’s current understanding and competence, making it a versatile and highly effective teaching strategy.

Effective scaffolds encapsulate the spirit of a master teacher, offering temporary assistance to facilitate students towards independent learning. The teacher makes complex tasks manageable, and students gain the confidence to fly solo.

In the realm of the Rosenshine principles, mistakes are not a cause for chiding, but cherished for the learning opportunities they represent. Errors serve as a reflection of areas that need more focus and scaffolded support.

As the support system of scaffolding retreats, educators often witness a remarkable transformation; blossoming learners ready to navigate through their cognitive paths independently. This strategy encourages learners to become confident, informed thinkers who venture fearlessly into the world of knowledge.

Rosenshine principle providing scaffolded support is a powerful tool in any teacher's arsenal. It ensures that even when students delve into difficult tasks, they feel guided and supported, bolstered by the foundation of scaffolded learning.

The withdrawal of scaffolds over time is crucial. This gradual withdrawal helps to transform the scaffolds from a crutch to a stepping stone, guiding learners towards gaining independence as learners.


The ambiance of a classroom utilizing the Rosenshine principle of providing scaffolds is magnetic. It's an environment buoyed by the pulsating hopes of learners, the steady guidance by the teacher, and the faint whispers of shared discovery.

Scaffolded support is more than just a teaching method. It is an educational ethos, a commitment to create a nourishing environment where students are motivated to immerse fully in the learning process, guided, and supported every step of the way.

Through scaffolded support, learners develop an actionable understanding of new concepts, extending beyond mere rote learning. This depth of understanding makes learning exciting and meaningful — a lively exploration rather than a laborious chore.


The Rosenshine principle to provide scaffolds inspires teachers to transcend traditional teaching paradigms, by creating a balanced learning environment. It supplies a perfect blend of teacher-led instruction and student independence, celebrating the unique learning journey of each student.

The journey to master scaffolded supports may seem challenging initially. However, the transformations it brings to the learning environments are deeply rewarding. The principles click together beautifully, unfolding a vibrant picture of effective teaching and engaged learning.

Through scaffolded supports, students learn not just academic concepts but life skills. They learn to break down problems into manageable bits, piece by piece, a learning habit just as useful outside the classroom as within it.

With the Rosenshine principle provide scaffolds guiding the way, the journey of teaching and learning morphs into an engaging adventure. This educative pilgrimage breathes energy and enthusiasm into every classroom, turning education from a set of directives into a lively narrative of discovery. Let's embark on this rewarding journey, shall we?


Sherrington, T. (2019) Rosenshine principles in Action, John Catt Publications LTD

UPDATED  10/2023