There’s a new book available it’s packed with practical ideas for teachers from teachers: Meaningful Making: Projects and Inspirations for FabLabs and Makerspaces. And even better it’s available as a free download. You can’t beat that for a bargain.
The book is an initiative from the FabLearn Fellows who are part of a larger project sponsored by the National Science Foundation entitled “Infusing Learning Sciences Research into Digital Fabrication in Education and the Makers’ Movement”. The FabLearn Fellows initiative brings together experienced educators from all over the world to create an open-source library of curriculum and contribute to research about the “makers” culture and digital fabrication in education.
Edited by Paulo Blikstein, Sylvia Libow Martinez, and Heather Allen Pang it has a great foreword by Paulo Blikstein with the header:
You cannot think about thinking without thinking about what Seymour Papert would think
Papert of course is the visionary educator whose thinking provides the intellectual foundation of the maker movement curriculum. This book is full of articles by people who take Papert’s visionary thinking and his awareness of children’s cognitive growth to heart. Kids need all kinds of accessible tools to learn and grow and they need to be surrounded by constructive energy and activity if they are to thrive.
This constructionism model of learning is a powerful counter weight to the textbook and testing regime of traditional instruction where knowledge is delivered in pre-digested packages.
Tinker, Tailor, Solder, Sew
Constructionism a powerful alternative and you can see the power behind it when learners and makers of all ages converge at a MakerFaire. The positive energy of people coming together to tinker, tailor, solder, sew – to build, learn, share, program, shape and make.
This book is packed with ideas to bring maker-thinking and mental model-making into the classroom. It’s by teachers who are out there in classrooms working with kids, building spaces, creating activities and establishing the beachheads of innovation and creative curricula. This is personalized intellectual growth and theory making for kids. It’s a great frontier of progressive education – a powerful alternative to the teach-and-test routines of the big publishing companies and the instruction drills of flipped classroom internet videos.
How do we Know? Assessment and Documentation
And for those of you worrying about Grigor there’s a great assessment section full of excellent theoretical and practical insights, information and ideas. No lack of grit and rigor in the thinking here.
It’s been almost two weeks since the Poughkeepsie Mini MakerFaire and I’m still thinking about it and processing what I learned. This was our second time of hosting so now we also have some points of comparison. One thing that always sticks out for me – and it’s a point of pride – is the eclectic nature of the components. If making is basic to being human (and surely it is) then we need to see all that making activity and be able to share in it.
Always worth remembering that the word poet means maker. Making is about making meaning and shaping our sense of the world from the materials around us.
And see these slides for a glimpse of all the fun of the Faire.
Thank you Christina Powers and all the many volunteers, partners, sponsors and especially all the makers who made this a memorable day! And here is someone who knows how to make her own fun! In the student maker area with Sue Hart: