Educators have been having discussions about “making school better” for decades. Yet the word that still shows up most in student surveys is “boring”. I believe we actually know how to make education better, and it is not just one thing in isolation. Tinkering at the edges has not helped. There are many things that need changed in order for “better” to happen. And you can’t experiment with changing just one, it doesn’t have enough impact to see change or create lasting change.
That is where Maker Centered Learning (MCL) comes in, because it actually is not just one change, it is the conglomeration of many. Maker Centered Learning is pedagogy based on Dewey, Montessori, Piaget, Vygotsky and Papert. It is hands-on, interactive, and trans-curricular. It makes us look at assessment differently. It changes focus from tests and grades to the learning process and discussions about learning and application and meaning of ideas. It changes how we look at time in the classroom. It promotes student voice, choice and personalization. MCL helps students search for and find their passions. It promotes social and emotional skills and health. It fosters all of the “C’s” that we can come up with (Curiosity, Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Community) , as well as the P’s (Projects, Passions, Peers, Play). Maker Centered Learning helps develop habits of mind that most businesses say they want in employees and, more than that, it helps people develop skills, abilities and attitudes that will help them thrive in society, maybe even make the world a better place.
It is not one more thing to add to teachers’ plates, but a different, and better, way of doing what they had been doing. We are all born Makers. Making is how we experience and learn about the world, from mudpies to blanket forts to make believe to innovations. Yet, for some reason we stop or don’t include that in our school experiences. It is past time to bring it back.
#MakerEd #MakerSpace #MakerSpaces
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