In a previous Look Into Education blog, we discussed the Maker Movement and how it is beginning to be utilized more and more in education curriculum. More than just technical knowledge, making creates room for creativity and ingenuity, and teaches students valuable skills like problem-solving, perseverance, and resourcefulness.
The question for education majors preparing to teach their own classroom now stands, “how do I conduct this learning model in my classroom, and what is my role?”
Dale Dougherty, one of the founders of the Maker Movement, offers insight on how to create space for creativity and innovation to flourish:
- Integrate subjects
Think of a maker space or maker projects as a library of multiple subjects and multiple things to be learned. Dougherty explains, “Rather than saying, ‘This is science, over here is history,’ I see schools taking this idea of projects and looking at: How do they support children in a higher-level learning?”
- Serve as coach-observer
Incorporate more student-led or student-directed projects into the classroom, with you as an observer. “You have 20 kids doing different things. You are watching them and really it’s the human behaviors you’re looking at. Are they engaged? Are they developing and iterating over their project? Are they stumbling? Do they need something that they don’t have? Can you help them be aware of where they are?” said Dougherty.
- Create a supportive environment
Supply your students with tools, encourage collaboration and offer encouragement when they get discouraged. Dougherty explains that “you’re trying to create a supportive, creative environment for students to do this work. A very social environment, where they are learning from each other. When they have a problem, it isn’t the teacher necessarily coming in to solve it. They are responsible for working through that problem. It might be they have to talk to other students in the class to help get an answer.”
One model teachers can use to build on in their classroom is Maker Faire, a national celebration of innovation and creativity in communities across the country. William Woods education majors can attend the Kansas City Maker Faire on June 24 and 25.
Bachelors in education students can also explore the resources offered by Maker Ed, a national nonprofit organization that provides educators and institutions with training, resources and a supportive community they need to integrate learning into their classrooms.
Books to read on maker education:
- Invent to Learn by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager
- Worlds of Making: Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School by Laura Fleming
- Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing Our Schools, Our Jobs, and Our Minds by Dale Dougherty, Ariane Conrad and Tim O’Reilly