Category Archives: STEAM

What is this Maker Movement?

I am a maker.  At least I think I am.  I sew. I blog. I cook. I bind books. I built a deck with my dad. Is that what people mean when they talk about ‘making?’

When I hear people talking about Making in schools, it sounds like hands-on learning.  It’s constructivism, right?  That’s essentially what Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager write in their book, Invent to Learn.

Learning by making, tinkering, and engineering is consistent with Piagetian theories.
– Martinez and Stager

Piaget said, basically, the best kind of learning is experiential, active, kinesthetic.

Ok, I can do that.

But, it’s more than just experiential learning.  Martinez and Stager introduced me to another educator, Seymour Papert, who is a tech guy.  He is all about using the computer as a tool to make stuff.  Papert was into coding, and his ideas will later lead to Scratch.

The idea is this: make stuff, and add the computer to your toolkit.

This is the beginning of an investigation. How does the Maker Movement fit with educational goals and best practices? How is making learning? How are schools increasing experiential learning? What tools and expertise do schools need to facilitate making? How are classroom teachers participating?