Makerspace is a constructivist and constructionist movement that is taking the world by storm! Imagine DIY meets education! Makerspace is not only a hackshop where you can go to learn how to use an arc welder for the afternoon, but an educational concept as well! A makerspace presents readily-available materials that can act as a provocation for inquiry, as well as modern technology and items to invent with.
Makerspace is more than a space itself, it is a mindset that can and should be taught (Gerstein, 2014). We have a student culture of children who have learned to consume technology; educational zombies with all of their technological skills residing in the swipe of an index finger. With a makerspace, we can move beyond consumption to creation! There is strong advocacy for this type of teaching and learning and it is critical for policymakers to understand as we develop frameworks that move away from consumption, towards creation in our educational settings (Alberta Education, 2011; Fullan, 2013; Wagner & Compton, 2012). A makerspace is about “turning knowledge into action” (Flemming, 2015, p. 7), and allows for a true opportunity to support personalized learning (Martinez & Stager, 2013).
The Maker Movement is a vehicle that will allow schools to be part of the necessary return to constructivist education. A movement that will allow students to be creative, innovative, independent, and technologically literate; not an “alternative” way to learn, but what modern learning should really look like (Stager, 2014).
The Maker Movement is a theoretical and physical embodiment of constructivism that will reform how we educate students. (Roffey, 2015) Education grounded in “making” has the capacity to transform the way we think about pedagogy and learning (Kurti, Kurti, & Flemming, 2014). At the heart of this movement is the understanding that “learning happens best when learners construct their understanding through a process of constructing things to share with others” (Donaldson, 2014, p. 1). Key to the success of the maker movement in education is the shift away from ready-made knowledge to a classroom environment ripe for exploration, creativity, innovation, and collaboration (Donaldson, 2014; Papert & Harel, 1991; Schön, Ebner, & Kumar; Schrock, 2014) with hands-on materials and real-world problems (Hatch, 2013).