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

This is not your typical classroom space.

Maker Space emphasizes creation and  creativity with products and processes using hands-on tinkering, playing, experimenting, expressing, iterating and collaborating. It can use digital tools to make, share and learn across space and time, do-it-yourself format (West-Puckett, 2013). A makerspace is a physical location where people gather to share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network, and build(educause, 2013).

This format has the potential to create space for student interest to meld with curriculum. The edutopia site says, “The ultimate objective is that, with the right tools and connections, young people can develop the literacies to remake our world into a more democratic, equitable and humane place.” (West-Puckett, 2013)

Students have a collaborative space for creating projects where the informal combination of lab, shop, and conference room form a  hands-on learning experience(educause, 2013). Makerspaces are excellent team efforts and for peer support, offering advice, and assistance.

Maker Spaces are informal, project-driven, self-directed  places give time to experiment and try out solutions as well as hear input from colleagues with similar interests(educause, 2013).

It is open to use by faculty, students, and staff from a cross-section of content areas, they promote multidisciplinary thinking and learning, enriching the projects that are built there and the value of the makerspace as an educational venue.

These statements sell the Maker Space, clearly stating that this method of learning is highly interactive, interesting, and is a way of connecting an individual with others, even from the most rural communities (like I am from). It is the perfect space for the kinesthetic learner.

Wondering how this would work in my classroom, I came upon connected learning as well. Connected learning is online, and connects students to strategies they will integrate information, learning, and resources to create learning opportunities. Connected learning is like the MOOCs we were reading about last week. It has relevant resources, problems, and has benefits that can connect today’s students.

I connect Maker Space with connected learning because they both interact with others using network resources and it integrates content with hands-on learning. Connected learning might give a person a more knowledgeable partner that might help or extend what a student does with Maker Space.

Maker Space might be difficult to set up, and get the space for (educase, 2013). It reminds me of the way I taught head start and we had open exploration where the students could build and work to build their fine motor or gross motor skills. I don’t know if it’s relevant, but that’s the correlation I get from it. With maker space, the teacher or leader would have to give less structure and more room for the student to explore. This can be a problem, especially with teachers who are very specific in their methods of instruction and practice.

References:

Connected learning the what and why. Retrieved June 9, 2015 from connectedlearning.tv

Educause (2013). 7 things you should know about makerspaces. Retrieved June 7, 2015, from https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli7095.pdf

West-Puckett, S. (2013). Remaking education: designing classroom makerspaces for transformative learning. Retrieved June 9, 2015 from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/classroom-makerspaces-transformative-learning-stephanie-west-puckett

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6 thoughts on “What is the pedagogy behind a Maker Space? What are the benefits of this pedagogy to students?

  1. Barbara- Yes that is a good point that you make that this is not your typical classroom space. I think that it has to be a room of it’s own. What I mean it you have to have materials in there, computer, and other things that they need to tinker with. I don’t think it could be a regular classroom because you wouldn’t have room for all the material that you need for a MakerSpace. That is true that this would be the perfect place for the kinesthetic learner. That is a very good idea of connecting a MakerSpace with network resources. I also think that it would be difficult to set up and have the space for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that it would be hard to find a space for it. Our school practices robotics and it seems like a makerspace in a way because they have to build robots to perform tasks. They have to store their work away and take it back out when they’re done. I can’t imagine how it would work if it was for a center based activity learning center.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome. It helped me understand what the framework might be for a classroom. I didn’t know if I was going in the right direction with my research.

      Like

  2. I agree that makerspaces need to be open to faculty, staff, students, and parents. I think that it is important for collaboration for there to be an exchange of ideas. However, I worry a little that if parents or teachers are involved, students will feel that they should do what the adults suggest instead of following their own pathway. Personally, I would need to make sure that everyone knows that suggestions are just that…suggestions. Each person’s project should remain their own. I think this is why I need to start small and then open it up to more people over time.

    Liked by 1 person

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