Dwayne Hodgson

A Portfolio

The work and adventures of Dwayne Hodgson,
+ Learning Designer & Facilitator at learningcycle.ca
+ Storyteller & Photographer @ thataway.ca

Lessons Learned on the Road - Episode 2

"Please, let this be a normal field trip!"

With these kids....? No way!

As "road scholars", we're trying to learn from the environment, cultures and sites all around us by mixing the good-old-fashioned 3R's (reading, writing and 'rithmetic) with the experiential learning 3R's of research, reconnaissance and reflection. 

As I listen to Trish and Isaac practice Arabic greetings in preparation for our travels in Morocco, I thought it might be interesting to list all of the "educational" field trips that we've gone on since we left Ottawa last year.

It is turning out to be a long, and admittedly eclectic list that has the kids (and us!) majoring in geography, social studies, languages, history, archaeology, ecology and the occasional experiments in physics (if you count roller-coasters and hot-air balloon rides).   It has also been fun to note where the different cultures and empires that we've seen -- Greek, Roman, Ottoman, Spanish, Swahili -- have intersected and influenced each other. 

Here is a partial list of the museums, national parks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and experiences that were just-too-cool-for-school. 


As I wrote back in July, we started our road schooling as "Tourists in Our Own Town" by taking advantage of some of Ottawa's world-class museums. But we continued learning as we hit the road in Southern Ontario and Quebec. 


Checking out the Aya Sofia with the book and an audio guide


Turkey is deeply-steeped in history -- archaeologists have found signs of human habitation as far back as 12,000 years -- and everywhere you go you are standing on one or more levels of Hittite, Lycian, Greek, Roman, Seljuk, Ottoman, or Turkish ruins and architecture. There are a gazilliion museums and historical sites, of which we visited the following: 

Isaac Wind, Road Scholar, channelling Indiana Jones at Ephesus.

Isaac Wind, Road Scholar, channelling Indiana Jones at Ephesus.

Zoe and Isaac at the Sultanahmet Mosque

Zoe and Isaac at the Sultanahmet Mosque



Because the people of Tanzania tended to build with biodegradable materials (e.g. wood, mud, thatch), there is comparatively less "built-history" to see. As well, post-independence Tanzania has not had the resources to document its history and culture to the extent that you see other places. But still, it was very interesting to learn more about the culture, development issues and of course, the ecology of the area: 

Zoe outside the Museum of Design in Barcelona with the Torre Agbar in the background. 

Zoe outside the Museum of Design in Barcelona with the Torre Agbar in the background. 


Okay, it's imperial and largely built with stolen loot from the New World, but during our brief visit to two cities in Spain, we saw a fascinating mix of Moorish, Andalusian, Spanish and modern architecture and history. Barcelona also seems to have a museum on every block, and i hope that we can return there to see a few more. But so far, we've seen: 


To Be Continued

So, that's a summary of some of what we saw and did during our first seven months of this year-long trip.  And best of all, we've still got five more months to see some more cool places in Morocco, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France and Spain. So please be sure to check back in a few months for Episode 3....