Kylie Pepper, Erica Rosenfield Halverson, Yasmin B. Kafai
Makers as Learners, Volume 2
Erica Halverson, professor of education at the University of Wisconsin Madison, joins us in this episode to discuss the recently published co-edited volume entitled, Makeology: Makers as Learners (Routledge, 2016). My conversation with Erica actually begins around her earlier work with Kimberly Sheridan (2014), in which they establish the warrant for studying making and learning and define theoretical and empirical approaches to making, makers, and makerspaces. We then discuss the insights that emerged from across each section of the book: the cultures and identities of makers, their tools and materials, and connecting making to the disciplines.
For those unfamiliar with the Maker Movement, Erica describes what it is like to attend a Maker Faire. She also shares three vivid stories of makers, including two Hasidic Jewish men who created an electronic Mezuzah that chastises you for not touching it when you walk through the doorway, a boy who made a bow and arrow from straight wood pieces and hinges, and a social studies teacher who asked students to make monuments for women who should be honored on the Washington Mall. Responding to the cultural and gender stereotypes of the Maker Movement, Erica talks about a shared commitment that she sees among scholars in the learning sciences and the maker movement to the equity and diversity component of identity and culture. Throughout our conversation, Erica shares her perspectives on the role of authentic assessment and audience, the whimsy of making (beyond “put a bird on it!”), the role of tools, the STEM monster, and the challenges and opportunities of studying arts-based education.
Julie Kallio is a graduate student in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her research interests include educational change, innovation and improvement networks, and participatory design. You can find more about her work on her website, follow her on twitter, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.