The idea, yes. But the specific word? Here's where I recently saw the word, in the title of a 2013 book:
Developing Scaffolds in Evolution, Culture, and Cognition
Edited by Linnda R. Caporael, James R. Griesemer and William C. Wimsatt
"Scaffolding" is a concept that is becoming widely used across disciplines. This book investigates common threads in diverse applications of scaffolding, including theoretical biology, cognitive science, social theory, science and technology studies, and human development. Despite its widespread use, the concept of scaffolding is often given short shrift; the contributors to this volume, from a range of disciplines, offer a more fully developed analysis of scaffolding that highlights the role of temporal and temporary resources in development, broadly conceived, across concepts of culture, cognition, and evolution.
The book emphasizes reproduction, repeated assembly, and entrenchment of heterogeneous relations, parts, and processes as a complement to neo-Darwinism in the developmentalist tradition of conceptualizing evolutionary change. After describing an integration of theoretical perspectives that can accommodate different levels of analysis and connect various methodologies, the book discusses multilevel organization; differences (and reciprocality) between individuals and institutions as units of analysis; and perspectives on development that span brains, careers, corporations, and cultural cycles.
Contributors: Colin Allen, Linnda R. Caporael, James Evans, Elihu M. Gerson, Simona Ginsburg, James R. Griesemer, Christophe Heintz, Eva Jablonka, Sanjay Joshi, Shu-Chen Li, Pamela Lyon, Sergio F. Martinez, Christopher J. May, Johann Peter Murmann, Stuart A. Newman, Jeffrey C. Schank, Iddo Tavory, Georg Theiner, Barbara Hoeberg Wimsatt, William C. Wimsatt
I used the term in my 2001 book on music, Beethoven's Anvil:
Petersen and colleagues proposed a “scaffolding-storage” model of learning. When a task is being learned—”unskilled effortful performance,” as Petersen calls it—the brain establishes neural scaffolding to meet the demands of the new task. Just which regions perform as scaffolding will vary from task to task. Once learned, the task is performed more efficiently by other brain regions where task schemas are permanently stored. Petersen suggests that the scaffolding and storage regions may well function in parallel. During the early phases of learning, the scaffolding bears the major burden of actually executing the task while the storage region operates in the background, learning the task. As the task is learned the burden of control shifts.
Here's that reference: Petersen, S. E., H. van Mier, et al. (1998). "The effects of practice on the functional anatomy of task performance." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 95: 853-860.
That certainly seems to be this general usage, which means that particular term was being used back in 1998.