The Importance of a Maker Culture in Schools
Part 5 of a 5-part blog series exploring the topic of makerspaces in education. Click here to read part 1, Makerspaces: An Important Component of 21st Century Education part 2, Creating a Makerspace in Schools and part 3 Using Makerspaces to Promote a STEAM Curriculum, and part 4, Preparing Students for Successful Careers with Makerspaces.
As we’ve covered in prior blog posts in this series, the world has changed. This disruptive technology shift has altered the workplace and our own personal behaviors in ways that couldn’t have been imagined just fifteen years ago. This paradigm calls for new methods of teaching and learning. In this technology-driven world, a framework such as making is incredibly important for student success.
The foundation of making is an idea—a framework for thinking, problem solving and learning—that asks the team involved to hypothesize, build, test, evaluate and adjust. This is exactly the type of skill set that employers require and are struggling to find in today’s employees.
Maker thinking is also a framework that can carry students successfully through life in other areas. For example, in my last blog post I brought up the need for workers to have cultural agility in today’s (and tomorrow’s) global organizations. Paula Caligiuri, professor of international business and strategy at Northeastern University, addresses this by stating, “Developing cultural agility is more of an active process requiring social learning in a novel context with opportunities to practice new culturally appropriate behaviors, make some mistakes, receive feedback, and question one’s own assumptions.” We can begin to see how those who have been introduced to a maker thinking framework can easily use it to solve many roadblocks in their way—hard and soft skills.
Makerspaces and maker thinking, at their best, promote a culture of equity and inclusion. They teach all children how to think critically and solve big issues. But, in order to create a true maker culture in education, everyone—including adults needs to be encouraged to be actively learning at all times.
Instead of considering “making” a separate, time-bound activity, think of it as a curriculum booster to help support your pedagogical goals. If you align your makerspaces to your curriculum and embrace the ideas of plan, do, evaluate, rethink, redo, your entire team—adults and students alike—will have equitable access to the types of exercises that can solve tomorrow’s big challenges in science, technology, engineering, art and math.
Explore What’s Next at EDspaces 2018
We invite our partners—architects, designers, distributors and educators—to our booths 1602 and 1702 (the last booths in the right-hand corner of the exhibit floor) at EDspaces 2018 to discover what’s new in STEM next-generation learning. While we can’t say much yet, big things will be happening at our booth, including a product line launch that is revolutionary for educational spaces. Our complete line of interchangeable solutions works together to easily move from one learning mode to the next and you can test-drive them all at our booths.
Backed by significant research, our active classroom solutions are made in the USA and are durable, safe and environmentally friendly. Be sure to stop by our booths if you are grappling with how to modernize your classroom/district and want to:
- understand how to solve for your “why”
- see what “Progressive Tools” looks like
- receive a personal tour
- test-drive our latest solutions
If you’d like to schedule a date and time to connect in person, please contact me to schedule an appointment at EDspaces (or anytime!).