Friday, July 25, 2014

Creative Scaffolding

Scaffolding is a term used in education to describe a method of supporting students' learning. Af first, the teacher provides strong support. Then as time goes by and students' abilities grow, the scaffolding is slowly "dismantled" or lessened until the student becomes proficient.

But today I want to discuss actual scaffolding. Here in the United States, scaffolding is usually completely utilitarian, covering up construction on large buildings. It is often quite ugly. In my recent travels in Europe, I had the interesting experience of being very impressed with the creativity builders use for their scaffolding.

In Italy, a building on the Grand Canal was being redone. That doesn't mean, however, that the tourists have to gaze on frightful scaffolding.

No, much better for the scaffolding to have the image of what will be when all the building is complete.

Germany, on the other hand, promotes a version of "green scaffolding". Plants and flowers crawl all over the tubing.

The fragrance as well as the beauty must make a more pleasant work site.

This is not to say that all the scaffolding in Europe was beautiful or unique. There were plenty of ugly construction sites. Still, any time I saw one of these different ways to dress up the ugly business of progress, it made me smile. Hope it does you too.

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