As I reflect on my view of the Constructivism Theory, I thought about what it meant to me. Learning is supposed to be hands on, exploratory, and foster creativity. It's more about the journey of the learning process than it is about the destination. Did you problem solve? Did you collaborate and communicate well? Did you take a leap and try something new? What did you do when you came to a problem or got stuck? I immediately made the correlation to a road trip. Here are my thoughts:
Journey, Not the Destination
A road trip is usually planned because you want the experience. Would it be easier to book a flight and not think about all the logistics of traveling by car? Sure. Is it as satisfying when you get there? No way! On a road trip, some choose the take the interstate and get there as fast as possible. I relate these travelers to students who already have quite a bit of background knowledge on the topic. Some road trippers choose to take the scenic routes and go off the beaten path. It takes them longer to reach their destination, but the memories of the trip are far more meaningful than if they would've rushed past the scenic routes by interstate. These learners take longer to understand the concept being taught. They have to go down one road, then another, then another, before it "clicks".
Bumps in the Road
Flat tire? Fender bender? Out of gas? Got lost? We all have those hiccups in learning. Do we give up and feel helpless? When students hit these "bumps" in their learning, they have to be able to problem solve. They have to be able to effectively communicate and know what to do when they're stuck. Different situations call for different things. If you get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, you might result to YouTube to teach you how to change it, or flag someone down to help. In learning, you might get stuck and need to result to resources (books, online sources, videos) or contact an expert (friend in class, teacher, online). When students problem solve themselves without someone telling them the answer, they've learned powerful lifelong skills that benefit them long term.
When you pull off the side of a road to stop and take in the view, it can be very memorable and leave you in awe. In our learning we need to be intentional about taking time to pause to reflect on how far we've come as learners.