Love, Scaffolding, Success and Cycling



I thought my daughter would need to crash her bike a few times to learn how to ride without training wheels. I believed several close encounters with a tree trunk or falling off her bicycle would provide the necessary training to maintain balance and cycle unaided. In some respects I assumed moments of failure would provide behavioural correction and ultimately alter performance.

Love for my daughter, however, meant I didn't want for any of this to occur. I didn't want for her to sustain an injury or develop a sense of fear. I wanted for her to experience success and achieve it effortlessly. I conducted some research to develop an improved action plan. I was determined to teach my daughter how to ride a bike without needing to crash or fall off her bike.

I discovered many recommendations. One suggestion was to first remove the peddles and allow a child to balance the bike while rolling down a slope. Once this was achieved the peddles could be reinstalled. My daughter then placed her feet on the peddles and repeated the process of rolling down an incline. Once she had performed this several times her confidence strengthened and then she naturally began to peddle. Amazingly she never fell off her bicycle while learning to ride.

An interesting parallel can be drawn between classroom teaching and riding a bike. My daughter experienced success because the learning experiences were scaffolded meaningfully and purposefully. In like manner providing learning experiences are scaffolded for each student they will all encounter success. Students do not need to encounter failure to learn success. Children can achieve their personal best when lessons are staged appropriately.

First one must love the children they teach. Secondly lessons should be constructed to differentiate content to allow incremental achievement. In conclusion educational outcomes will be achieved because learning has a suitable and relevant scope and sequence.

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