Pedagogy

STEAM, STEM, and Making

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by Tracy Rudzitis -

What do these words mean? How are they interpreted by teachers, by administrators, by students, by politicians? 

 

In the past few months I have been a part of a number of discussions surrounding this question. The conversations are genuine and in most cases have the best interests of students and learning in mind. There is one thing that I have noticed, there can be a wide range of perspectives and responses to these questions.

 

"Making" in California K-12 Education

Fellow

by David Malpica -

A brief state of affairs

In schools, “maker” education has been typically known for many years as hands-on project based learning (PBL). While “maker” education continues to deepen its roots in small pockets of the nation’s private education, the introduction and implementation of “making” into California public education still has a long road to go. Efforts are underway to provide access to “making” opportunities to more and more students.

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Hey Kids – Follow the Directions!

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by Aaron Vanderwerff -

Four years ago at a Young Makers meeting, a parent-mentor told the group, “Following directions is not making.” When I recently saw the same sentiment on a post or tweet, it made me think about our practice at the Lighthouse Creativity Lab and when following directions is making.

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The Obstacle is the Learning: The Role of Scarcity in a Maker Classroom

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by Christa Flores -

The kind of consumer frenzy that inspires humans to stand in line for hours in order to give someone money for something non-essential to life, has always confused me. There was a stranger juxtaposition that caught my eye that day, however. A few feet from the line snaking out of the Apple store, a mother was sitting on the sidewalk with a toddler in a stroller and a young girl, holding a sign that read “I lost mi job” (yes she spelled my in Spanish)... “I have three children, please help.” Single mothers make up a significant portion of those in poverty, so I am guessing she really did need money and food for her three children. Thankfully someone agreed, and had bought the little family take out pizza, which they were enjoying.  The whole scene was confusing to me and I was inspired to write this blog in hopes of making sense of our current economy and how the maker movement presents us with a potential cure for what seems like an endless problem.

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Reading Freire in March

Fellow

by Tracy Rudzitis -

In Chapter 1 of Paulo Freire's "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" Freire defines his theory and identifies the oppressor and the oppressed. He writes of how in order to liberate the oppressed and to provide a meaningful educational experience, the "learner" must be actively involved in the construction of their education. Traditional pedagogies maintain this power dichotomy by teaching with "the banking model of education" where content and information is passed from those with power to those without power.

Funds of Knowledge

Fellow

by Aaron Vanderwerff -
Families Building Circuits

We still use the banking model of education as our dominant model - with teachers depositing knowledge in a students' mind. Papert asked us to think about who defines what constitutes a discipline, in other words, what is Physics and how is it taught. He posited that we continue to teach (even 30 years later) the same Physics courses that were developed around the technology of paper and pencil which are focused on solving word problems and carrying out labs with already identified answers.

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