Professional development and policymaking in maker education: Old dilemmas and familiar risks.

Author: Blikstein, P. & Valente, J. A.
Year: 2019
Project: Maker Education
Type: Journal Paper
Conference/Journal: Constructivist Foundations

Blikstein P. & Valente J. A. (2019). Professional development and policymaking in maker education: Old dilemmas and familiar risks. Constructivist Foundations 14(3): 268–271.


Maker education is a new instantiation of the decades-old project of project-based, constructionist, inquiry-driven learning. However, unlike other past implementations, it offers many unique characteristics, makes possible novel educational outcomes, and challenges policy makers and teachers with new infrastructural needs. In this response, using examples from school and district-wide implementation, we address three categories of questions raised in the commentaries around maker education: the uniqueness of makerspaces and the artifacts produced within them (and how they differ from projects and artifacts produced in other educational environments), teacher professional development for this novel type of school environment, and new approaches to assessment. Our conclusions point to recommendations that could be useful for policy makers, teachers and educators working on the implementation of maker programs.