Maker Movement in Education: History and Prospects

Author: Blikstein, P.
Year: 2018
Project: Maker Education
Type: Book Chapter
Conference/Journal: Handbook of Technology Education

Blikstein P. (2018). Maker Movement in Education: History and Prospects. In: de Vries M. (eds) Handbook of Technology Education. Springer International Handbooks of Education, pp. 419-437. Springer, Cham.


The maker movement in education has been a revolution in waiting for a century. It rests on conceptual and technological pillars that have been engendered in schools and research labs for decades, such as project-based learning, constructivism, and technological tools for “making things,” such as physical computing kits, programming languages for novices, and inexpensive digital fabrication equipment. This chapter reconstructs the history of the maker movement in education analyzing five societal trends that made it come to life and reach widespread acceptance: (1) greater social acceptance of the ideas and tenets of progressive education, (2) countries vying to have an innovation-based economy, (3) growth of the mindshare and popularity of coding and making, (4) sharp reduction in cost of digital fabrication and physical computing technologies, and (5) development of more powerful, easier-to-use tools for learners, and more rigorous academic research about learning in makerspaces. The chapter also explicates the differences and historical origins of diverse types of spaces, such as Hackerspaces, FabLabs, Makerspaces, and commercial facilities such as the Techshop, and discusses educationally sound design principles for these spaces and their tools. Finally, strategies for adoption in large educational systems are suggested, such as the inclusion in national standards and the local generation of maker curricula by schools.