Tikkun Olam. This is the phrase that keeps repeating on my mind as I finish our Module about Constructivist Theories. Tikkun Olam is a concept in Judaism which literally means “repair of the world.” If the word Constructivist would be break down into a single world, it would be construct. This fits perfectly with the theme of Tikkun Olam to fix, repair, establish.
One of the concepts of Constructivist theories is the Scaffolding. It refers to the guidance provided by a more knowledgeable other (MKO). Like the scaffolding used in construction sites as a temporary structure for supporting construction work, this concept of Constructivist Theory involves providing just the right amount of assistance needed for the learner to move into a higher level of learning and eventually reach its level of mastery.
I remember an instance during my highschool days, I used to hate Physics. Everyday, our teacher calls up three students at a time to face the board and solve a problem in front of the class. His son, a good friend of mine, knows that numbers is my greatest weakness. He tries to coach me secretly, whispering the formulas and steps to solve the problem while our teacher is busy monitoring my other two classmates. One time, we were caught in the act! His father, our teacher, angrily said “Stop! You’re not helping her if you’re teaching her every step. You’re just turning her to become a dull-headed.”
I did not understand it at first and I was a bit mad about that my friend is making me “bobo.” How could he? When he’s helping me solve the equations and save me from the board of shame. As I was pondering about the concept of Scaffolding, I now understand that in life and learning, we only need signs, markers, and guides. It is still our own two feet that will have to sojourn and endure the roadblocks until we reach our goal.