Maker Research Overview

Data collection for the first phase of this research finished in 2017. We are currently publishing the results and seeking a new grant.

Phase I: Developing a Maker Pedagogy in a Preservice Teacher Education Program

(January 2015 – August 2017)

Phase I will interpret how teacher candidates learn from experiences utilizing a Maker approach to pedagogy during their pre-service teacher education program. Elementary and secondary school science and/or technology teacher candidates in SFU’s teacher education program are being introduced to pedagogical ideas developed from the Maker ethos through a series of interactive workshops and presentations delivered by the Maker team.

Our Maker Space is an online and face-to-face lab environment that facilitates the sharing of technological projects and ideas relevant to teaching elementary and secondary science. For purposes of this project a traditional lab is not required; we bring in the required materials to an appropriate space. Examples of potential topics and projects include: Repurposing old computers with open-source software for use in science classrooms, programming Raspberry Pi computers and Arduino micro controllers to perform simple tasks, learning to write simple computer programs using Python, designing and building robots using LEGO Ev3 kits and online tools, dissecting old electronics for parts to use in projects and experiments, and creating functional art pieces. Data will be gathered through interviews, video recordings of work conducted in the Maker Space, and transcripts of online discussions. This phase explores questions such as:

  1. Do experiences using ideas from the Maker movement help teacher candidates construct professional knowledge or practice? How?
  2. How do prior experiences with technology play a role in candidates’ construction of knowledge about how to teach within this approach?
  3. What are characteristics of the community that forms around Maker principles?