A teacher provides scaffolding for learners by providing minimal help to enable them to complete an activity. The term was coined by Bruner and colleagues in the 1970s to refer to finely tuned help provided to young children by their parents (within the child's Zone of Proximal Development, to use Vygotsky's terminology).
Gibbons (1992) describes scaffolded learning as "assisted performance" which consists in
not simply helping to do, but helping to know how to do.
Read more: Original article by Wood, Bruner and Ross, 1976