Maker Spaces

What is the pedagogy behind a Maker Space? What are the benefits of this pedagogy to students?

 

American International School of Chennai, India: Maker Space, Design Saturday

 

 

At the root of the Maker Space pedagogy is the idea of allowing students to create their own learning and knowledge within a space designed to allow them to interact with physical objects. It is constructivist at heart, building upon the early ideas of Jean Piaget. According to Gary Stager, “The Maker Movement is a vehicle that will allow schools to be part of the necessary return to constructivist education. A movement that will allow students to be creative, innovative, independent, and technologically literate; not an ‘alternative’ way to learn, but what modern learning should really look like” (Makerspace). Students in active Maker lessons are fully engaged. They collaborate with other students and learn from failures. Students create new experiences and stretch their understanding. Teachers are facilitators and help support students in learning (Stager). Those students who learn by doing will thrive in this type of environment (7 Things).

There are many benefits of Maker Spaces, but most importantly, they allow students to be creative, to explore, to innovate, to fail and try again, to solve problems, and use critical thinking skills. They let students guide their own learning and promote working through problems. Students are encouraged to be hands on and to learn by discovery. Maker Spaces motivate students to participate because they enjoy it (Bannan).

7 Things You Should Know About Maker Spaces. (2013). Retrieved June 03, 2017, from https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli7095.pdf.

Bannan, K. Makerspaces Encourage Students to Innovate and Build Critical Thinking Skills.(2016, October 10) Retrieved June 03, 2017, from https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2016/10/makerspaces-encourage-students-innovate-and-build-critical-thinking-skills

Makerspace for Education. (2017). Retrieved June 03, 2017, from http://www.makerspaceforeducation.com/

Stager, G. What’s the Maker Movement and Why Should I Care? (2014). Retrieved June 03, 2017, from http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3758336

5 thoughts on “Maker Spaces”

  1. I love that you bring forward the ideas of failure, collaboration, and working through problems. Because our students not only need the content, they need the skills to work in a team and to problem solve! I especially love the quote about this not being alternative education, this should be mainstream! And in fact, anywhere outside of school, it typically is! Any on the job training is often hands on. Any learning we do at home with parents, is hands on. It is time that schools reflect the community around us 🙂

    1. I think kids in middle and high school are afraid to try new things because if they fail it is such a big deal. They really need a chance to try things without the fear of ruining their GPA. You are so right about how we learn outside of school. If we fail in making cookies because we switch salt for sugar, we can try again and get it right without being a failure in life.

  2. “they allow students to be creative, to explore, to innovate, to fail and try again, to solve problems, and use critical thinking skills. ”

    I think this says it so well!! Exactly what a Maker Space should be and do!

  3. Good blog. Makerspaces fit so well with genius hour. The two are so compatible. I like that students will learn from each other just by seeing what the others have done. So many ideas occur when someone sees something they think they can tweak or improve.

  4. Hi Pepper,
    I agree with Erica that failure is an important part of learning. I really like that aspect of a maker space. Do you use one in your teaching or are they used at your school? If not, how do you give students room to fail without losing everything? I try to do it in my classes by having different types of assignments and by offering chances for revision.

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