Pedagogy of the Makerspace

  1. Quinn, Bonnie
  2. ID
  3. Fleming, L. (2018, May 1,). Pedagogy, Not Passing Trend. School Library Journal, 64, 33.
  • This article discusses the importance of makerspaces being an educational philosophy, not a fad and stresses that they are for open ended exploration for everyone.  To keep makerspaces relevant, they need to be sustainable and require reflection.  The differences between STEM labs and makerspaces are noted. The connection between makerspaces and literature is featured.

Laura Fleming does a great job explaining what makerspaces really can be and convincingly asserts that they are more than a passing trend.  She adequately explains how to keep makerspaces relevant by encouraging readers to constantly refine and grow their programming.  I agree with her assertion that a true makerspace is more than students making 30 of the same project, and that it is possible and even advantageous to bring literature into the makerspace.  Laura Fleming is a great advocate for the makerspace.

How to Makerspace.

Ward-Sell, Krista

Topic: Makerspace model

Fontichiaro, K. (Dec 1, 2016) Inventing products with design thinking, balancing structure with open-ended thinking. Teacher librarian. Retrieved from :


A good article summarizing the experience of a librarian who needed to institute a framework for makerspace design procedure. She uses the following framework in an iterative fashion. 

Identify a problem,

Research, Observe, Interview, 

Synthesize and focus



Test, Adjust, Test again


Each of the steps include a detailed description of the behaviors the author is encouraging in her students. During the Research, Identify, and interview section, for example, she describes an information inquiry that includes not only traditional research, but observation of the problem in context with users, and interviews with people who actually encounter the problem. 


Not for a scholarly audience, but a casual reader who is unfamiliar with the makerspaces will get a thorough grounding in the topic and a workable model for how to run a makerspace. Fontichiaro writes about her experiences in an engaging way, sharing about how her students were trying to build a bridge and not making any progress. “Building a bridge to nowhere.” My experience with kids working in a makerspace has taught me that the ideal of a self directed space where kids direct their own learning is unworkable without some structure. They do need a framework to explore within to help them focus their ideas. This model serves very well in that capacity.

Makerspaces and Education

Mahajan, Deepti


Rubinstein05/15/2018, K. (n.d.). Making Space for Makerspaces. Retrieved from

This article is written by a teacher in New jersey and talks about how she set up a makerspace and what she learnt about it. She discusses how the maker spaces promote the inquiry and design thinking in the students and is a very inquiry based model of teaching and learning. The article also mentions her observations in the class and her findings from the study. She talks a lot about how this maker movement is encouraging the students to work and learn collaboratively. It also teaches them problem solving and creativity. The makerspaces provide an opportunity to be innovative and creative and working collaboratively.

This was a very informative article as it discusses how the teacher learned new things while developing this maker space for her students. It also gives the readers information about how the maker movement can be helpful in education. The observation checklist gives the educators a good tool to evaluate their learning commons or maker spaces.


Stanford FabLearn’s Paulo Blikstein on the Efficacy of Maker Ed: It’s about Process Not Products

Paslay, Juliana


Gomes, Patricia. (2016) Stanford FabLearn’s Paulo Blikstein on the Efficacy of Maker Ed: It’s about Process Not Products. Edsurge. Retrieved from I really appreciated this article and its point of view! It’s on how assessment needs to be different when using makerspaces in education. I think it has some good points on both maker education and assessment.

Free to Make

Bradley, Rebecca


Dougherty, D. & Conrad, A. (2016) Free to make: How the maker movement is changing our schools, our jobs, and our minds. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
Dale Dougherty is the founder and CEO of Maker Media, Inc, which launched a magazine called “Make” in 2005 and Maker Faire in 2006. Since then the Maker Movement has exploded around the world. In this book, Dougherty describes the “Maker Mindset” and who, what, where, and how people are exploring this exciting trend with hundreds of concrete real-life examples. Of particular interest to me is the chapter titled “Making is Caring” in which Dougherty states that the “Maker Movement asks us not only what technology can do but what good people can do as a community to use such tech tools to take care of ourselves and others.”

I found this book to be an excellent historical overview of the Maker Movement and a good starting point for teacher-librarians and librarians who wish to create a Makerspace of their own. It is thorough, easy to read, and highly inspirational. 

STEAM by Design

Alicia Morales


Blog STEAM by Design retrieved from October, 2016.

Summary: Blog that collects stories from other schools/teachers who are implementing STEM projects. Blog connects reader to a series of links to other sites that focus on design, technology, science and content making. There are also links to other useful articles. Most of the examples are contributed by teachers working with young students, elementary level. Great show of creativity.

Crafting Professional Development for Maker Educators

Alicia Morales


Graves, C. (2016). Crafting Professional Development for Maker Educators from Edutopia retrieved from on September 2016. 
Summary: Maker spaces are a growing trend in many libraries, public or school, they usually involve hands on learning, crafts, and student collaboration, they are great ways to learn. This article’s focus was taking this same concept, maker spaces for student learning, but instead of student learning, it’s moved to teacher learning. Maker Spaces for Teacher PD’s. Creating successful professional development should focus on getting teacher/learners involved in thinking about the process and creativity of learning. It an be messy yes, but in the end teachers experience what students experience when making content. 

Seven Surprising Benefits of Maker Spaces

Brandt, Alisa

Barron, C., & Barron, A. (2016, August 2). Seven surprising benefits of maker
    spaces [Blog post]. Retrieved from School Library Journal website:

ET – Maker Spaces

IL – Motivation

This article reveals the seven physical and psychological benefits of maker spaces in libraries beyond meeting curriculum standards.
Focusing on making brings people into the present moment giving them a break from focusing on the past or future too much. Making is physical and gets people moving, stretching, and standing, which gets blood flowing. Making is dependent upon self-directed engagement and gives people motivation to complete a task rather than having to do a required task. This means that people are learning what interests them and leads to a greater sense of satisfaction. Making uses hand-based activities which gives people a deeper connection to their brain and the development of skills such as visual thinking and problem solving. Making improves mood, giving people a boost of happiness. Maker spaces in libraries create a sense of community and connection which can prevent loneliness. Making “prevents the habit of wastefulness” by salvaging old materials and creating something new (Barron & Barron, 2016).

Evaluation: We are all familiar with the ways that makerspaces in schools enhance student learning and help to meet curriculum standards. It is also helpful to understand the ways in which making, whether it is simple or complex, provides so many mental and physical benefits to makers. In a time when people are increasingly disconnected from others and from the physical and mental processes that keep humans healthy, making provides an opportunity to gain some of this back.