Learning in a makerspace in very different from learning in a conventional classroom. The first priority of teachers in a makerspace is the students enjoyment and passion to learn (first learning objection feelings). Learning in a makerspace is done by working on projects that the students find interesting. In a makerspace students have more control over what project they build and what they learn. The student is focused on the interesting final product of the project (learning objective 4) and is motivated to learn the skills to get there.
The first learning objective (feelings) is the most important and is the foundation that everything else is built on. Makerspace teachers spend a large portion of their time supporting the first learning object (feelings) especially with new students.
Conventional teaching focuses on the third learning objective (learning skills) and the forth (final product) with testing. For students with difficulties with the first (feelings) and second (process) it can be very painful and difficult to learn in this way.
We find that many students that are struggling with conventional learning at school are very motivated learners in makerspaces. Many of these students find new levels of enjoying learning.
The learning goals of a makerspace can help you understand how makerspace Education differs from conventional school learning.
Below are the learning objective ranked by importance with 1 being the most important from the perspective of the makerspace teacher
- FEELINGS, students feel good and are passionate about independent learning
- reduce fear and anxiety about making mistakes
- increase passion curiosity and joy to support lifelong learning
- good feelings to support students starting projects without answers or the skills they need
- good feelings to support students in the iterative process taking risks, failing and integrating
- support students to express themselves in what they make with reduced fear of judgement
- PROCESS, Learn engineering design process, problem solving, individual learning style
- Engineering design process, student learn by building, testing and iterating
- How to start projects, brainstorming
- How to get unstuck, taking breaks, problem solving, where to research solutions
- make connections between what they know to find what they should learn
- process to learn new skills
- SKILLS, Learn Skills by working on fun projects
- Learn to use 3D printer, computer design, building skills, using tools
- Learn about engineer, math, science, programming
- FINAL PRODUCT, “Good” finished project in the eyes of the student,
- In a makerspace we use the students definition of what a good project is and not the teacher’s definition as the student takes ownership of their project and works for themselves and not to please the teacher.
- final product not important to the makerspace teacher and is not evaluated as they focus on the process.
- teacher supports the student with learning goals 1 (feelings), 2 (process), 3 (skills) and then the student has the tools they need to improve the final product to what they want it to be