May 22, 2017
Over the last decade, the Makerspace Movement has been gaining momentum and market share in k-12 education – and rightfully so. Makerspaces provide students with opportunities to explore innovative solutions to real-world problems by creating tangible work-products through guided hands-on learning experiences outside of the regular classroom. The makerspaces themselves are usually unused areas of the school that are converted into workshop environments. This platform is highly engaging and transformational.
Now, if you will, allow me to extrapolate the concept of makerspace to the individual. Each of us has our own personal makerspace – the mind. Let’s call this domain the ‘thinker-space.’ In one’s ‘thinker-space,’ the possibilities for creativity and innovation are limitless. Unfortunately, in more traditional education programs, the power of teaching students to use their ‘thinker-space’ to develop and apply their own creative potential is often overlooked. This also holds true for educators and school leaders. In the 21st century, creativity and innovation must become central to the mission of k-12 education, and time and resources must be allocated to provide educators with opportunities to think both individually and collectively.
If students and educators are to be prepared to meet the challenges that lie ahead in the in the 21st century, then schools must, first and foremost, prepare them to use their ‘thinker-spaces’ as a tool for innovation.
Robert J. Harris (@edudexterous) is founder of Edudexterity.