Well balance of affection and learning. Lave and Wenger (1991) state that the importance of the “relationship of masters to apprentices” is more important than the content of teaching itself. Sometimes the teacher can go too far in terms of building a positive relationship and trying to be likable to all the students. Cavallo suggests that the “demagogical and charismatic educator” it can be harmful to the sense of autonomy of students because the “educator” is so “likable” that they rely on being taught by the “charismatic educator”, and trust themselves less.
Teacher as facilitator in FabLab. A teacher in a FabLab has different roles and actions compared to a conventional classroom. The active classroom amplifies a lot of the social interactions in class which teachers need to pay attention to in order to provide appropriate support for students according to their needs. Freedom that allows autonomy does need congruent facilitation and provision. Following are some observations on the fundamental interactions between students and teachers in the FabLab:
The 2014/2015 FabLearn Fellows cohort is a diverse group of 18 educators and makers. They represent eight states and five countries, and work with a wide range of ages at schools, museums, universities and non-profits. Throughout the course of the year, they will develop curriculum and resources, as well as contribute to current research projects. Their blogs represent their diverse experience and interests in creating better educational oportunities for all.
In some ways, National History Day (NHD) is rather “old school,” a science fair style research competition for history. I started requiring my students to participate in NHD because I saw the potential for deep research and thought, a good match with our department history “habits of mind” and a great opportunity for students to pick topics that they cared about.
My sixth and seventh grade STEAM students immersed themselves in the wonder of electricity this school year. They started out by exploring basic circuits, using blocks that I constructed using the Exploratorium’s ideas from their electricity exploration curriculum.
The overall learning targets for this unit were:
Shaunna Smith, Ed.D. is an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at Texas State University who I met at the Maker Ed Summit in Arizona last fall. She has been facilitating art + math makercamps for middle school girls with a focus on impacts to their efficacy and visual spatial skills. They use the Revised Purdue Spatial Visualization Tests: Visualization of Rotations (Revised PSVT:R), which can be viewed here (she had to email them directly to request a free copy from the author).
Aloha! During Spring Break I spent one week visiting The ‘Iolani School, a K-12 private school with over 1800 students in Honolulu, Hawaii. I was fortunate to be invited by their Head of School, Dr. Timothy Cottrell, to attend some classes, teach a few workshops, and meet with his talented technology team.
In previous blogs I have addressed the role of co-teaching in a maker classroom, as well as the intersection of Reggio Emilia practice and working in a makerspace in hopes of redefining the role of teacher in a Constructivist learning environment. Lately, the FabLearn cohort has also been discussing the essay written by Paulo Blikstein and Marcelo Worsley, soon to be published in Project Zero’s Makeology book. In this chapter of the book, the power of the culture of making is said to be highly dependent on the pedagogical style and attitude of the teacher. Fostering a constructionist learning environment is no small charge, as it turns out. Once established, however, this environment offers a world of learning experiences that are pitted to challenge the status quo teaching and learning we see in most schools today.