Education: Posts

Q&A with Makeology Authors Kylie Peppler, Erica Halverson, and Yasmin B. Kafai

Kylie Peppler is Associate Professor of Learning Sciences at Indiana University, Erica Rosenfeld Halverson is Associate Professor of Digital Media and Literacy in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Yasmin B. Kafai is Professor of Learning Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. Their new two-volume work, Makeology, is now available for purchase here.

Kylie Peppler is Associate Professor of Learning Sciences at Indiana University. An artist by training, she engages in research that focuses on the intersection of arts, media, new technologies, and informal learning. Her current work focuses on maker culture.

Erica Rosenfeld Halverson is Associate Professor of Digital Media and Literacy in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work focuses on what it means to learn in and through the arts across a range of contexts, including out-of-school arts organizations, museums, libraries, and arts-based classrooms.

Yasmin B. Kafai is Professor of Learning Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a researcher and developer of tools, communities, and materials to promote computational participation, crafting, and creativity across K-16.

What made you decide to write this book?
The success of the Maker Movement over the past decade has caught everyone by surprise and has inspired a new era of academic research that arcs back to the historical roots of education that many of us are familiar with, such as the Deweyan Laboratory School concept, hands-on making and learning-by-doing. As editors of the volumes, we were particularly interested in this work and were inspired by the potential for these volumes to bring together this growing body of research into a central location for the first time.

What is the one thing you hope readers take away from this book?
I hope that readers become convinced that high-quality learning takes place in the process of making, and that the Maker Movement is reinvigorating the 21st-century learning landscape. We feel that the wealth of research perspectives represented in these volumes gives readers a sense of the processes, products, environments, and educational outcomes needed in order to foster the rich educational ecosystems our ever-changing world requires.

Is there something you think it’s important to highlight about this topic?
I think that moreso than any other prior educational movement, the Maker Movement represents a grassroots approach to transforming the field that resonates with so many. It’s not a top-down initiative; rather the success of the movement is because teachers, parents and youth connect to it in such exciting ways. Why else would groups of independent people transform their garages into shared community endeavors where mentors and newcomers can build things together and learn from each other? Why would increasing numbers of museums and libraries offer opportunities to youth to tinker and play with new materials and technologies? The authors in these volumes present a growing body of evidence about the impact of this work, sharing design challenges and successes, theoretical insights about the nature of learning in and through making, as well as opportunities to legitimize making as a 21st-century discipline.

What is a common misconception about this topic that you would like to clear up?
Making comes in many forms, and there are countless ways in which spaces are set up to encourage it, or how people infuse it into their teaching, or even how makers go about creating their own projects. This lack of standardization can seem daunting for people who want to measure maker activities in the same way they’d assess a class project or test.

As with any instructional innovation, questions about the pedagogical value of making as a discipline are often raised. By exploring activities, communities, and identities independently—as we do in these volumes—we can avoid reductive policy questions like “Is making good for kids?” or “Should we put a makerspace in our school?” and instead have more informed discussions about heightening possibilities for learning and creating consequential invitations for a broader and more diverse group of learners to participate.

  • Makeology

    Makerspaces as Learning Environments (Volume 1)

    Edited by Kylie Peppler, Erica Halverson, Yasmin B. Kafai

    Makeology introduces the emerging landscape of the Maker Movement and its connection to interest-driven learning. While the movement is fueled in part by new tools, technologies, and online communities available to today’s makers, its simultaneous emphasis on engaging the world through design and…

    Paperback – 2016-05-26
    Routledge

  • Makeology

    Makers as Learners (Volume 2)

    Edited by Kylie Peppler, Erica Rosenfeld Halverson, Yasmin B. Kafai

    Makeology introduces the emerging landscape of the Maker Movement and its connection to interest-driven learning. While the movement is fueled in part by new tools, technologies, and online communities available to today’s makers, its simultaneous emphasis on engaging the world through design and…

    Paperback – 2016-05-26
    Routledge