The purpose of this study was to specify the relationship between positive and harsh parenting and maternal scaffolding behavior. A 2nd aim was to disentangle the effects of maternal education and parenting quality, and a 3rd aim was to test whether parenting quality mediated the association between maternal education and scaffolding practices. We examined associations between positive and harsh parenting practices and contingent and noncontingent tutoring strategies. Ninety-six mother-child dyads (49 boys, 47 girls) from working- and middle-class English families participated. Mothers reported on parenting quality at Time 1 when children were 5 years old and again approximately 5 years later at Time 2. Mother-child pairs were observed working together on a block design task at Time 2, and interactions were coded for contingent (contingent shifting) and noncontingent (fixed failure feedback) dimensions of maternal scaffolding behavior. Positive and harsh parenting accounted for variance in contingent behavior over and above maternal education, whereas only harsh parenting accounted for unique variance in noncontingent scaffolding practices. Our findings provide new evidence for a more differentiated model of the relation between general parenting quality and specific scaffolding behaviors.