[baisl] Tinkering is serious play

  • From: "Debbie Abilock" <dabilock@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <baisl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2015 16:49:00 -0800

Tinkering is serious play

Educational Leadership (ASCD) <http://www.ascd.org/>  

Volume 72 Number 4, December 2014; Pages 28-33

The maker movement is about encouraging students to create and tinker, in an
attempt to connect them to what they are learning, in a tangible way. By
introducing them to the equipment, skills, and knowledge needed for hands-on
experiments, the maker environment offers students a deeper understanding of
what they are engaged in. It also encourages them to become interested in
STEM subject areas. For these reasons the maker movement is finding a strong
following, and is taking off in schools. By setting students a challenge, be
it to invent the perfect paper airplane or a gill that would allow humans to
breath under water, having a hands-on, tinkering approach can 'serve as a
motivating, engrossing introduction to scientific understanding'. Testing
and retesting devices they make helps students learn from their mistakes,
while also giving them the chance to witness the differences these
alterations make. However, guidance is needed to prevent students drifting
from genuinely creative work into fabrication, in which students simply
repeat a set of activities. While a limited amount of fabrication can instil
a solid knowledge of crafting, students should then progress to the
'creative, improvisational problem-solving' which tinkering involves. To
bring the maker movement into schools, first there must be the right
atmosphere to encourage students to learn in such a way. Creating an
environment designed for making, by interweaving fabrication with creative
tinkering, opens the door for students to explore their interests. There is
no one right answer: while one student might excel at learning aerodynamics
from crafting paper planes, another might learn better by creating a wind
tunnel. Teachers should provide ample opportunities for students to discover
what works best for them. (To access this article, go to the ASCD home page
<http://www.ascd.org/>  and type the article title into the search box.)

Abstract from


Other related posts:

  • » [baisl] Tinkering is serious play - Debbie Abilock