Experience, Expedition and Learning Lopa Shah Advance Diploma in Design in Education, 2012 Srishti School of Art, Design and technology
This paper is an attempt to illustrate and discuss what an expedition can offer as a pedagogical tool to facilitate learning. The basis of this tool and in turn the study of this paper is primarily Experience. “Experience” is understated as an offspring of time and space and is rather a phenomenon of diligence. Jaramille, James A explains in his paper, Vygotsky’s Socio cultural theory and contributions to the development of constructivist curricula (Fall96, Vol.117, Issue 1, p133), how students construct their view of the world. From the constructivist perspective, “the learner is not an empty passive vessel waiting to be filled with drops of knowledge from an instructor’s lecture. Rather, he/she prefers to be actively involved in hands on learning activities that interest him and that are just above his current level of competence. To learn concepts, the learner must experience them and socially negotiate their meaning in the authentic context of a complex learning environment.”
There will be multiple instances of reference to Vygotsky’s theory of constructivism and Bruner’s theories on learning and development in the course of this paper and the aim is to highlight the most relevant aspects of their theories and place them in the context of a learning expedition that took place in a school with a group of 8th grade students with a view to analyze the importance and shortcomings of an intervention like this in a standard setting of a middle school timetable.
The major questions this paper addresses can be: How does one learn? What is the role of experience in learning? How does social interaction elicit learning? What role does the context play in instructional design? How does collaboration accelerate potential for learning? How does an authentic context, such as a new city, elaborate the experience of learning?
However, the flow of the paper is linear and it begins with a study of what meaningful learning is as also perceived by a number of pursuers of this discipline. Experiential learning follows as the next level of study towards the final section which analyzes expeditionary learning.
Meaningful Learning and Experience
Children are a storehouse of potential. Teachers are practitioners whose constant endeavor is to put this energy to maximum use by engaging them in various activities and subjecting them to varied environments. It is when the kids identify, while in the process of these activities, elements that they learn from, and celebrate their discovery, that effective learning happens. Marcy Driscoll, in his book psychology of learning or instruction talks about constructivist approach, towards identifying learning goals, that emphasizes learning in context. He mentions Brown et al (1989) and his views on meaningful activity. He says that it is not enough to acquire knowledge that is not put to any practical use. “knowledge must develop and continue to change with the activity of the learner.” So a teacher’s role becomes vital in meeting the cognitive demands these learning goals place on the learners. According to Perkin’s, “learners must deal with complex problems and they must play more of the task management role than in conventional instruction. “ Thus, the job of the constructivist teacher according to him becomes to help them just enough and motivate them to engage more.
Bringing again the focus to how one learns and where learning begins, constructivism offers an opinion according to whichlearning is a process in which the learner makes an internal interpretation of an experience. Learning is something that comes from within and has no way to be externally granted, and it is only then that it is effective. Knowledge is created with an equal participation and help from the students as from the teacher and the processes that allow this participation account for effective learning. This may sound idealistic and cumbersome for a conventional or semi-radical school set up and it is rightly so. But the possibility of it creating, in true sense, an educational space is higher and worth vouching for.
Ronald E. Hansen, in his book, The Role of experience in Learning ( Journal of technology Education vol.11 No.2 Spring 2000), talks along the same lines referring to Carl Rogers (1902-1987), “Rogers has been quite outspoken about the learning process, especially the role of a teacher in that process. He believes no one learns anything of significance from someone else. Instead, learning takes place when a learner is intrinsically motivated to learn and undertakes to learn something on his/her own. This sentiment is echoed by Albert Einstein who was quoted as saying: “I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn”[cited in Walter &Marks, 1981, p. 1].”
The emphasis on creating a participatory environment or process is to identify it as a pedagogical tool that encompasses further sub-tools for cognition. The best way to understand this will be commemorating the tools identified in two years of my engagement in Srishti. If I enlist, they are: Learning with senses/ experiential learning Learning with body/ practice based learning Learning with mind/ learning by connecting At no point can any of these stand alone and at every point all three of them are interconnected. It is an amalgamation of the three that functions as a catalyst for growth. Yet, classifying them largely under three heads makes my task of zooming further in to a specific subject easier. I have always been fascinated by what your mere presence in a space does to you. With the consensus reality here being your physical presence in the magnitude of a space, your imagined reality has the potential to grow a million folds. The rawness of your experience in this space makes the realm of your relationship you build with it- intellectually, sensationally, spiritually. Having spoken about experience I’d like to draw your attention back to the opening line of this paper and pick experiential learning or learning with senses as the subject of further focus.
Taking an example from the Ronald Hansen’s, The role of Experience in Learning (Analyzing experiential learning, Journal of Technology Education, Vol. 11 No.2, Spring 2000) - “A class of post baccalaureate students at the Faculty of Education, The University of Western Ontario: Experiential learning was defined as learning which combined mental, emotional, and physiological stimuli. These necessary and sufficient conditions for experiential learning were organized and distilled from a range of individual and group responses. 1. There must be a balance of aural, visual, tactile, olfactory, and emotional stimuli. 2. Learning involves observing, doing, or living through things (it is associated with skill development, practical knowledge, and action–the result or residue of experiential learning is the long term memory associated with it). 3. Intrinsic motivation transcends extrinsic motivation. · The learner, in some significant respect, is the initiator of the learning. · The learning process, in some respect, is perceived to be controlled by the learner. · The goals of the learning process, to some extent, are thought to be the learner’s goals. · Accountability for the learning act or actions is the perceived province of the learner.”
As exciting as it sounds, this phenomenon is equally challenging and it questions the very concept of schooling. From a systems perspective, making experience a central element in school curriculum would mean that writing curriculum would change dramatically. Learning outcomes would likely be more difficult to articulate. This concern, however, is more to the assumption that a school radically disowns the system and adopts its own premises of learning and teaching. Functioning within the constraints of a systematized set up is rather more difficult and finding spaces for designing interventions more challenging. So, in order that a student is provided with stimulating conditions; that a teacher organizes his surroundings in a way that invites maximum participation; that the surroundings promise enough potential to extract from, one needs a well-structured plan of action that executes over several days at a stretch, slightly 'untracked' from the daily. One word for such collaboration is ‘an expedition’, a learning expedition.
So, what is a learning expedition?
Karen Monkman and Laurie MacGillivray spoke about infusing social justice and culture into classroom instruction in their paper on literacy, where they mentioned Freire’s (1970/1993) notion on literacy. Freirian notion of literacy is not limited to decoding and encoding words on a printed page. It involves engaging more critically in the world and analyzing it and sometimes working towards making changes in it. “Learning then emerges within a broader context of knowing one’s world, knowing how to be in that world, and knowing how to remake it.” The Socio-cultural theory suggests that learning emerges from the interaction between the people and the task they are performing and the context in which it the interaction occurs. Barbara Rogoff describes how learning occurs at three planes of interaction: Community or cultural plane, interpersonal or social plane and personal plane. A learning expedition offers potential to provide all three planes and Freirian parameters of knowing the world as well. The basic goal of a learning expedition, thus, is to take children’s research beyond the library. The aim is to find ourselves in conditions suitable for maximum exploration. However, each student is on the same quest but their modes of inquiry and their personal interpretations make the outcome individual. The outcome can be in any form- essays, artworks, videos, films or websites.
Working closely with Project Vision, a collective, currently functioning as a middle school programme in Mallya Aditi Inernational School, I got an opportunity to accompany them and participate in a learning expedition to Kutch, organised for std 8 kids. Hence, to further substantiate the importance of a learning expedition and to make my arguments more specific, subjective and easily comprehensible, I shall churn this experience and use it as a running example for further discussion. So, every learning expedition, if I may generalize, begins with a pre-expedition agenda, for it is imperative for the teachers to orient the kids with the conditions they are going to be subjected to. Conditions, here, imply not only climatic and geographic, but also cultural, attitudinal, linguistic and political. Of course, details of each of these are for the students to discover, but a primary alert helps young minds to prepare themselves for the impending change. The assumption here is that the new environment will be evidently different from where they live. Our kids were never introduced to kutch in a direct way. What was best about all their pre-trip activities was that none of them gave direct information. They were all experiential and exploratory in nature and dealt with larger concepts that they would reflect on in the course of their journey. Nothing for the next ten days was going to be easy to comprehend and an introductory workshop with literal information would have been paradoxical, and would have perhaps built an expectation of ‘being given or provided with’ in students’ minds. Hence, it became even more important to begin their experience with an experiential engagement.
Their pre-trip journey began with a week long session encompassing three workshops. All three workshops dealt, respectively, with three larger ideas: Upper and Lower behavior, what is progress, Journey between the self and the other. The kids were going to a completely different space, visit villages, interact with the communities, interview them and it was important for the teachers to talk about the kind of behavior that was expected out of them.
A week before these workshops began; kids were introduced to weaving and embroidery and their techniques. This was a significant move from the point of view of an educator, since it speaks for the importance of handicrafts in the practice of learning at a tender age. Weaving and embroidery, here, were chosen because kutch is rich in these crafts. Knowing their techniques becomes customary to strike deeper conversations with the practitioners of this craft and most importantly to feel and make them feel that we are there to learn and that we respect their art. The kids must also know and experience what it takes to weave or embroider for long hours. This invites the kids to appreciate and respect them better. At every point our attempt as facilitators was to break the supposed hierarchy between us being the Urban community and them being the rural. Reference here, are kids of 12 to 13 years of age and at an age so tender, understanding the complexity of behavior and the impact it can create in people’s minds and lives can or rather should be one of the learning goals for the teachers. One effective tool to do this, as we just identified, is to engage the kids in the art of making.
Speaking closely about the workshops now, each workshop had an overarching idea, which, through various activities, and at several instances, the kids arrived at. The first two days of the workshop were dedicated to behavior – Upper and Lower. Taking from their classroom occurrences and daily conversations that go unnoticed, kids in their respective groups role-played and demonstrated their behavior in certain situations. What was given was, that one of the kids from each group had to be the saboteur in the situation. Every activity was followed by a conversation where every behavioral trait was scrutinized and argued upon. A healthy discussion of this sort is a must for a class to recognize and come to terms with each others opinions, so as to work well as team in the trip and otherwise.
The second workshop questioned the very definition of progress, through a documentary film that they were shown. Of course, there was an expected resistance from the kids to the ideas of technology being hazardous, supermarkets ruining local markets and globalization distancing people. Right from global warming to changing lifestyles, everything was debatable until we arrived at the question of happiness. After watching a few clips on small villages, farming their own food, living a satisfied life, they were asked – are we happy? Are we satisfied? Are we contributing anything positive back to the world? Are we looking down upon smaller towns? Are we so used to skyscrapers and fly-overs that we have forgotten what it is to walk on the ground? Are we so addicted to subways and pizzas that we have forgotten the taste of fresh fruits? What is the impact of our individual desires collectively on the global market and how is that affecting communities back I our own country? All these and many more questions, with a bit of discomfort, silenced the class for a moment and the discussion that followed was valuable. I can’t say that this was a life changing conversation and that each one of them had an epiphany of sorts. But the discussion did trigger a thought and that is generally the goal of such interventions.
Having talked about individual behavior and then its impact on a larger scale, the third workshop was an interesting break through as it took them in to the world of Sufi music and Kabir’s words of wisdom. There is Shabnam Virmani, with her films in quest of Kabir, conducting this workshop, taking the kids on a musical journey about her encounters with Hinduism, Islam and Sufism. I was involved in planning and executing this workshop with her. To introduce a concept so vast, we began by throwing words at the blackboard around the word Pakistaan. Multiple perceptions were revealed and taking from there, we saw the first part of the film Had-Anhad. The aim of this workshop was to sensitize students towards acknowledging and respecting the variety of religious beliefs prevalent in our country, introducing Kabir’s philosophy for addressing this and thus questioning yourself through music. What was interesting about how this workshop was planned was that more importance was given to creating a musical environment rather than a learning one. With her experience supporting our creative instincts the entire workshop made sure it engaged the kids musically. While planning the activities, our only goal was to get them to reflect upon Kabir and his sayings in the larger relevance of life. Each of our activities triggered a thought, which was churned further in the discussion that followed. Each clip was also carefully chosen from the movie so as to lay the ground for a healthy critique. Shabnam sang for them between two activities. Such passion for Kabir and his sayings and the purity in her voice got the kids hooked on to finding out for themselves who Kabir was. At some point the activity required them to answer on behalf of Kabir and they came up with interesting responses. The film was shown in parts and each part was chosen to specifically incite certain questions that revolved around the concept of ‘othering’. By the end of two days the kids made a long mural, painting their experience of the film and all that we did in the workshop.
Code of Conduct: While our kids were taking their first steps towards the trip, a code of conduct was together arrived at in terms of the kinds and amount of belongings to carry. Your communication begins with the way you present yourselves and this, hence, calls for simple attire, given that for the eight days we were going to live with people who live more humble lives than us. No cell phones, ipods or music players, thus, go without saying.
On 6th of February, evening is when we arrive in Kutch and we enter the campus we were putting up in – Khameer Campus. Khameer is a non-governmental organisation that works closely with other NGOs and various communities in Kutch. Khameer was hosting us and had organized most of our trip for us. Our introduction to other organizations like Sahjeevan, Kalaraksha and our interactions with communities were facilitated by Khameer as well. Our trip was largely spread over 6 days out of which, three days were dedicated to field visits and one for presentation. We were divided in 5 groups: Pastoral, industrialization, water, Agricultural and weavers, building practices and each group collaborated with a separate organisation. These five areas of inquiry lead the process of discovery for the students in each of them. Bruner’s (1961) concept of learning by discovery is echoed here. “A true act of discovery is not a random event. It involves an expectation of finding regularities and relationships in the environment.” The context of this trip is so vast that it becomes imperative to define the lines of enquiry and specific learning goals before we delve into discovery, to end up gathering relevant information. “discovery, like surprise, favors the well prepared mind” (Bruner, 1961, p.22)....discovery is not haphazard; it proceeds systematically towards a model which is there all the time.” These five areas highlight broadly the subjects of relevance from a context so wide and rich. Goals and objectives of each group were to participate fully in discovering more about the subject by observing, interacting with the people and the context and by actively taking notes and making connections with what they already perceive of them or have studied about in class.
The entire trip can be divided into 10 design principles of expeditionary learning. These principles are based on Kurt Hahn's “Seven Laws of Salem”; Paul Ylvisaker's “The Missing Dimension”; and Eleanor Duckworth's “The Having of Wonderful Ideas” and Other Essays on Teaching and Learning, (New York: Teachers College Press, 1987).
The Primacy of Self-Discovery.(Kurt Hahn, 1930): Speaks about giving the children opportunities of self discovery, on the idea that every girl and boy has a “grande passion”, often hidden and unrealized to the end of life. The Educator cannot hope and may not try to find it out by psychoanalytical methods. It can and will be revealed by the child coming into close touch with a number of different activities.
The Having of Wonderful Ideas (Eleanor Duckworth, New York: Teachers College Press, 1987) Speaks about generating curiosity about the world amongst the students by various activities that give them something to think about, experiment and make sense of.
The Responsibility for Learning (1998) Giving the responsibility of individual and collective learning not only to the teachers but also to the students. The students should be equally involved in constructive meaning and making collaborative efforts to elicit learning. There is a challenge and then there are targets, though not clearly stated, to be achieved. They knew whatever they did on the trip was going to reflect on what they do after the trip as well. Hence, each one of them in each of their groups made sure that they were alert enough to absorb most of what their field visits had to offer. Individual learning was also regulated by the mandate of their journals to be complete.
Intimacy and Caring Highlighting the importance of small groups and compact activities that gives equal opportunity of engagement to each one in the group. We had it to our advantage that the groups were small and that there were enough adults in each group to look after. Mutual trust, respect and sense of belonging was built immediately and stayed till the end.
Success and Failure (Kurt Hahn, 1930) Encountering success and failure. Realizing the importance of both.
Diversity and Inclusiveness. Giving enough opportunity to the kids to acknowledge and draw upon their own talents and resources with those of the communities. Demonstration of diversity of this space began from pre-trip workshops, embroidery and weaving sessions. Our ethnographic studies of the communities added to the diversity. The challenge for the kids was to acknowledge this diversity, think about their personal histories, roots and cultural identities and mold themselves in this context.
The Natural World The entire trip at each stage pointed at the natural world. Where we lived was a rich natural surrounding. Our major concerns and questions that emerged during the presentations were about preserving the natural world, may it be mangroves, water, grassland or cattle. Living and experiencing all this first hand, was eye-opening for most of us.
Solitude and Reflection (Kurt Hahn, 1930) Solitude, reflection, and silence replenish our energies and open our minds. Keeping this and the interest in ethnography in mind, the concept of journaling was made compulsory for them. Every evening, they had their own time off, with pencils, crayons, paints and colored papers to use. This was their own time, dedicated to focus on their journals. They wrote their days notes, made connections, expressed their feelings, drew symbols, illustrated their experience and pasted artifacts, if any, in their journals in this time. This was a good meditative hour for them to relax their minds and bodies after the day’s journey. It is in this time that some interesting connections and revelations emerge.
Service and Compassion Compassion is a skill that can be developed and not an attribute that only a few are gifted with. Service is a responsibility and not a gift that you offer. These ideas were clearly communicated, especially in Khameer, in their system of organization. Washing our plates, filling hot water buckets, eating from what was made, discarding waste in it’s appropriate bin, was all a service that we performed as insiders, while lived and shared their space.
Collaboration and Competition. Collaboration was prevalent right from the beginning of the trip – our collaboration with the NGOs, the kids’ collaboration with the representatives of these NGOs over the field trips, the kids’ collaboration amongst themselves towards the end while we presented the information and insights we gathered in our field visits. Competition is unavoidable and healthy to an extent when dealing with kids. While each group was chunking their information there was an unsaid competition amongst them about using the most creative way of giving their information a form. A handful of them, I noticed, had an urge to compete with themselves to write/draw/annotate/record/capture or describe better the next time.
All of this culminated into a final presentation to the members of Khameer, Sahjeevan and other NGOs and to a few of the community artists we met. The format chosen for the presentation was called “a Medicinal Wheel”, where in the students were made to sit in a circle and divided in groups according to directions and each student spoke as the chief of their direction for the issue they had identified in the process of inquiry.
While such enormous amounts of work was spread over maximum number of days on the trip, I’d certainly not forget to mention the recreational fillers in the form of contour drawing, embroidery, tie and die, khameer store, dance workshop and a visit to the Great Rann, Kala Dungar and India Bridge. Visit to India bridge was an opportunity and a valuable experience in itself. The army men we met and spoke with there were inspirational. First hand information from them about their relationship with the Pakistan army, their experience of being at guard for 11 months in a year at a stretch, characteristics of this bridge, distance, permissions and much more was never going to be available and so interesting if we had read it in books and seen images. The beauty of the place was ironic and the kids had so much to take back from it.
Having provided an overview of what happened on the trip, using and highlighting the above mentioned principles in designing an expedition, I’d like to zoom in to one aspect that stands common in all of them – collaboration. The aim of this entire trip was not only to acquire knowledge through ethnographic studies of a particular context, but also to work together as a team with a sense of responsibility, belongingness and passion for making a collective effort in construction of meaning for themselves and for the team.
The selection of groups that remained constant on this trip was in itself a thoughtful process, where the facilitators sat together and analyzed each and every child’s behavioral traits and levels of knowledge and skill. Connecting this with the socio-cultural theory of interaction, we know that knowledge emerges through interaction. Focusing, in this case, on interaction between the peers while working in a group on various subjects, it becomes important to know which students come together to form a group. According to Vygotsky, there is a gap between a child’s actual developmental level and the level of potential development. This gap is as he calls the zone of proximal development. “Zone of proximal development defines those functions that are not yet matured but are in the process of maturation.” (Vygotsky, 1987, p.86) Interaction plays an important role in deciding its precise boundaries. Its lower limit is fixed by the actual level of development but the upper limit is determined by the nature of interaction, people with whom the interaction occurs and the way the interaction is facilitated, rather tools or activities. “Ideal partners in an instructional enterprise, then should not be equal in terms of their present level of knowledge and skill. The more advanced partner, whether adult or peer, will function to bring about cognitive development in the less advanced partner (Marcy Driscoll, 1993). This is consistent with the notion of scaffolding where the instructor or the more advances peer operates ad a supportive tool for learners as they construct knowledge (Greenfield, 1984; Wood, Bruner & Ross, 1976).
There were several instances, some mentioned till now and some will be mentioned in details on the trip, where students engaged in collaborative meaning making. Speaking for all of them and analyzing its importance in instruction design is what I’m aiming at next. The students of the Pastoral group on this trip had the mandate of doing an ethnographic study of the pastoral communities in Kutch. In order that they gather relevant information and that they ask appropriate questions in the first place, they must first come to terms with the dynamics of their team that was to be respected for the rest of the trip. They must also share with the group their ideas, talents, skills, insights and responses as and when required. Since even after the trip the onus of putting together the information in a coherent and comprehensible form was on the team. This requires them to learn while they together negotiate the solution if faced by any problem and discover their own and consequently each other’s potential. According to Bruner, “Exposing the students to discovery learning can therefore promote a sense of self-ward in which students become motivated to learn because of the intrinsic pleasure of discovery.”
Vygotsky also recognized the influence of peers on each other as they construct meaning. “Vygotsky acknowledges that children come to learn adult meanings and action through peer collaboration....Vygotsky says peers comprise those who are equally competent and those who are more competent....Vygotsky’s domain of peer interactions acknowledges the importance of problem solving towards cognitive growth” (Jaramille, James A, fall 96, voll.117, issue 1, p.133)
The third stage of a learning expedition begins, in fact, after we return from the expedition. The kids are exhausted after the journey and the responsibility of learning – individual and collective shifts from the students to the teachers then.
After these kids returned, there was a week long session again for finishing the chunking of information and making connections. All the specimens collected – soil samples, rock samples, herbarium sheets - were also reviewed and talked about in detail with experts. In the meantime, embroidery was continued and the artists in our children were satisfied with a non-structured plan of embroidering individual pieces of reflection, with a view to put them all together later. Then the subject teachers took over and planned their sessions with the backdrop of their encounters in Kutch. For instance, geography and mathematics lessons dealt with the location of Kutch on the world map, formation of Kutch, characteristics of the Rann, formation on the grassland, math problems based on the numeric data collected, etc. The science lessons dealt with studying ecosystems, food chain, plant species, experiments with soil, etc. This having gone on for three weeks, it was time to put up a show - A showcase of this entire “Experience”. This is the culminating stage of an expedition and it is the best opportunity to learn what and how to choose information for a public display.
The final outcome of this trip has to be a website. However difficult it sounds, the onus of designing one, still lies with the students. A website is the most accessible medium for sharing their experience and knowledge constructed in the course of this trip. Moreover, it gives enough opportunities of learning by discovery (Bruner, 1962), problem solving and collaborative meaning making (Vygotsky) to the students. We have a team of designers, who together planned a design Jam over three days for the kids. It was important that the kids participate with utmost enthusiasm and so the Jam was a competition. They were divided in three groups with one designer each to facilitate. Each day they had three hours to work on the website from scratch and the end of each day they had to present in front of a panel that comprised of three judges from varied disciplines. Each group made paper models of how exactly their website should look and justified each logo, each movement, each drawing, each content in their websites. This was a major success. Kids were not only actively engaged in the process but also enjoying working with a designer from whom they constantly learned lessons on aesthetics, coherence, usability and of course design!
“We wish to emphasize, instead, the use of collaboration to develop and share alternative views. It is from the views of other group members that alternative perspectives most often are to be realized. Thus, sharing a workload or coming to a consensus is not the goal of collaboration; rather, it is to develop, compare, and understand multiple perspectives on an issue. This is not meant to be simply a sharing experience, though respect for other views is important. Rather, the goal is to search for and evaluate the evidence of the viewpoint. Different sorts of view points and different arguments will support the differing views. It is the rigorous process of developing and evaluating the arguments that is the goal. Further this is not a competitive endeavor, where groups debate each other to see who is “right.” Rather, it is a cooperative effort in which each student is seen as coming to understand each perspective and even contributing to the development of each perspective. “ (Anne K. Bednar, Donald Cunningham, Thomas M.Duffy, J.David Perry, Indiana University)
Being exposed to such nuances of knowledge at this age is a blessing! In the meantime the teams were also working on choosing pictures and data to put in their final exhibit for parents. Each group had a separate space in the room where they could display all that they wanted to. On the final day, after the exhibition, the winning team of the Design Jam was announced and here’s where the learning expedition ended for these kids.
There is no single constructivist theory of instruction. Rather, there are researchers in fields from science education to educational psychology who articulate various aspects of it. The Kutch trip stands as an effective case to study, Analyse and identify spaces for connecting theory with practice.
My practice as a design in education student, observing design challenges in instruction and organization and my study of these theories as a research student, comes together through this paper as an analysis of a practiced understanding. Placing mainly Vygotsky’s constructivist view in a context, which, in its very raw occurrence, illustrates several aspects of his theory, was a learning experience.