We believe maker education and constructionist learning should be:
“I can learn in my own way”
Student-led projects are examples of curiosity-driven, self-directed, creative learning: the type of learning that is personal, engaging and motivating. Students’ passions and interests translate into the most successful learning opportunities.
“I understand why I’m learning this”
Learning is effective when it is meaningful and relevant. The best project-based learning occurs when it is based on real problems, or focuses on open-ended challenges. If knowledge is sought out when it is needed, it is relevant to the student and the student’s project.
“I need to apply multiple types of knowledge to this”
Learning should be interdisciplinary, just like the world is. While fabrication is most easily associated with STEAM subjects, it can also be successfully integrated into projects in other disciplines, including the humanities.
“I can learn how to think, learn, work and create”
Learning should not be focused singularly on curricular content or technical knowledge. Cognitive and soft skills such as creative and critical thinking, teamwork, communication and project management are also crucial, as is learning how to think like a designer, a scientist, an engineer, an artist, a computer scientist, etc.
Process-oriented and product-oriented
“My project path is just as important as the final product”
Learning should be assessed not just based on the final product, but also on the process that led to it.
Modeled by teachers
“I not only learn from my teacher, but also with them”
Learning is not restricted to students. Teachers should embrace and model constructionist learning and maker education, learning alongside students, and looking for balance between guidance and autonomy.
We believe the development of maker education should be:
Research-based and practitioner-based
FabLearn is heavily focused on educational research and learning theories, and connects researchers and practitioners by encouraging them to learn from each other.
Teachers are encouraged to do research alongside researchers: to document their processes like an ethnographer, assess their work, prove its benefits, and iterate.
Not just about the tools
For “making in education” to be a success, sufficient focus must be placed on elements other than tools, kits, and equipment: educational research, curriculum development, teacher professional development, policy analysis and development, implementation. Professional development is the most expensive and complex part of maker education, not the purchasing of equipment.
An international effort
FabLearn believes making is an answer to multiple different questions asked around the world. Educational systems and environments are different from school to school and from country to country, with each location having its own focus and needs. However, there is strength in diversity, and we can learn from each other.
Learning should be age-appropriate, safe, inclusive and accessible for all students. Technology in education can be a force for equity, inclusion and diversity. A good learning environment encourages equal and diverse participation and is free of judgement (but not of constructive criticism and feedback).