“Why do I need to learn this?”
Math teachers hear this the most. I will admit that this thought went through my mind several times as a kid. I struggled for years as a teacher to answer it. Here is an honest answer: we are learning how to learn. If you struggle to learn the first concept, you’ll develop a trick to finally understand it. That trick might help you to learn the second thing or the 20th thing. As you learn more tricks, learning gets easier. You can use those tricks everyday.
We are in school to learn how to learn. The first time you tackle a complex problem will be different than the 100th time. When you get out of school, you want learning to be easy. You can get used to figuring out difficult problems after some practice.
Creating brings these problems from the abstract into the concrete. Kids encounter all sorts of physical problems as they try to create.
Sometimes the lessons teach themselves, if you are watching for them. Poor planning or careless cutting will teach these lessons for you. Every little custom project has countless possible problems that can arise. Once you start to see them, every class period has a new combination of these problems to solve. Solving physical problems can bring up materials properties, physics, and testing strategies
Solving these problems and learning is a chaotic process. Learning that can’t be 100% lesson-planned or broken down into benchmarks. It comes in bursts and with ideas that can cut down to the core of a student.
Learning how to create is learning how to learn.