Thursday, February 8, 2007

Difficult puzzle, scaffolding & automatisation

Difficult puzzles need a strategy to be able to solve them. Smart children just try solving them, trusting their solving skills rather than a strategy. This works until they face a puzzle that seems not to work in that way. Then they have to try something called multilayered strategy. This is exactly the aim of scaffolding, getting insight in structure of solution, rather than being able to just solve the puzzle without having to worry how they did it.
In the midst of this comes emotions that are new to smart children: failure, frustration, stress... These emotions are often successfully avoided because smart children often can solve problems easily. When the puzzle is difficult enough, they get the chance to experience these emotions. A good teacher knows that emotions are a part of education. It is good to reflect on the emotions. What happened? How did you feel?
Then the child has to finish the task anyway. This means perseverance. The more perseverance, the better the child will feel when it does succeed to solve the problem in the end.
When they succeeded to solve the difficult puzzle, accompanied with the necessary frustration, the next step is to teach the child to automatize the puzzle.

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