There’s a useful and on-point critique of the Maker movement in The Atlantic magazine: Why I am not a Maker by Debbie Chachra.
And maker devotees and promoters would do well to read it as they out there talking up the maker culture as a panacea to all the ills of education.
But – what is a maker? Just someone who cuts up cardboard, wires up circuits to do amazing things and hacks solutions to practical problems? Well – of course not. Although it may include all of those activities.
But it also includes knitters, bakers, quilters, canners, felters, weavers, carpenters, bee-keepers and everyone else out there making stuff.
But this is the bigger issue: Making is a mindset, an approach, a way of seeing the world, an antidote to passivity and spectatorship. So – why not broaden that Maker definition to include all kinds of making and connect making with the world of active and interactive learning? Why limit the definition?
At the recent Poughkeepsie MiniMaker Faire we went way beyond the confines of limiting definitions. But the edumaker movement -at its best – is way more than even that.
The word poet means maker, composer.
To be a learner you need to be an active participant
To be a maker means to be an active participant in the world: To make it happen.
So makers are people who make “stuff” but they can also make an argument, make a case and – by their words and deeds – make a difference. Intellectual makers make meaning. Activists make change. Leaders make moves and movement. Learners make the world anew. All of us must make a life.
Let’s broaden the definition to those who use their emotional intelligence to make a better, kinder, juster more caring world.
Debbie Chachra – you are a maker. By making your case you widen the discussion and introduce a number of really important elements that sometimes get lost.
Thank you for making the time to make that case that makes the difference.