Standing on a foundation of Pestalozzi, Montessori, Dewey and now Piaget, we begin again in the 1960’s in Brazil, where another revolutionary thinker named Paulo Freire was inventing his own theories about education. Frustrated by the poverty he was seeing throughout the depression, Freire showed through experimentation that literacy was the key to achieving true democracy, freedom and self-actualization. He coined a new learning model called critical pedagogy, where education was a tool to question any system of oppression, namely that of our current economic and educational systems. Friere was laying the groundwork for what we now call the “maker mindset” before the term existed, a sentiment that would resonate in Piaget’s work as well.
Pedagogy and Theory
The idea that each individual should learn through direct experience rather than direct instruction is one so obvious to real scientists that the Latin phrase Nullius in Verba, which translates to 'take nobody's word for it' was adopted in 1660 as the official motto of The Royal Society of London. According to The Royal Society's website, the motto was adopted as “an expression of the determination of Fellows to withstand the domination of authority and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment.” A scientist is a constructivist by nature and profession, but when would constructionism take root in schools?
In response to a literal call for #HELP on Twitter, I pulled together the following three blogs from various resources. This was not as easy of a task as I was hoping, but I continue to model the use of constructionism with materials like words to force me to better understand, aka construct my own knowledge on the topics of making in schools and the two learning theories constructivism and constructionism. I hope that the intended audience finds these blogs useful. If not, references are at the bottom of each blog so the reader can construct her own interpretation of constructivism and constructionism using the historical evidence.
When we remove the white coat of inquiry we are introduced to a world of stories of practicing artists and scientists that have blurred the lines of these seemingly disparate disciplines. These stories inspire us by revealing the long standing history of how science has influenced art movements and individual artists. In this section we will look at the role of materials as a rich and natural intersection for the practice of art and science in harmony. We will hear a story of a how the science of the mind influenced a modern art movement and we will also examine the value of art as a powerful catalyst for inquiry for scientists of all ages. Thanks to the maker movement and the merger of art with STEM, we are seeing a witnessing a new horizon of Material Science and Making.
What would MakerEd look like if it completely equitable? What if “making” was no longer being culturally relegated to a definition that excludes many who need it the most? Please join as Nettrice Gaskins, Amon Millner, Debbie Chachra, and our FabLearn Fellows discuss what this could look like.
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:
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.
Part 2: People and Relationship as Learning Assets in FabLab
(Thank you again to Ms. Angi Chau and Ms.Heather Pang for having me to visit and observe your wonderful work at
Bourn Idea Lab at Castilleja School.)
I have been observing and stydying about "FabLab" idea by tracing back to its original ideas, practices