What is Maker-Centered Learning or Makerspace?
We believe that kids learn best by doing.
RHS teachers are exploring new ways to do hands-on learning that emphasizes making, design, engineering, and tinkering. Research shows that Makerspace is a "responsive and flexible pedagogy that encourages community and collaboration (a do-it-together mentality)."
RHS has a large Maker Space in the RHS Art Studio with low and medium workbenches, tools, and raw materials. Several classrooms have built a designated Maker Space with support from families.
In terms of learning, creative and critical thinking are mental processes that are different yet inseparable. Creative thinking is the process of generating ideas/information (fluency, flexibility and originality) and elaborating on them. Critical thinking is the process of reflecting on the merits of information generated and forming a judgment about it to suit a situation. Both types of thinking are involved in creative problem solving. We believe that students need to manipulate their environment to understand spatial concepts.
RHS teachers have participated in Maker-Centered Learning professional development training offered through Agency by Design:
"Our classroom has a culture where failure is a positive. Making is such an authentic learning experience where students take charge of their learning, solve their own problems and share how they solved them. They create challenges like building sturdy towers from newsprint and creating super slow marble runs." Theresa Sanders, 3rd grade teacher
RHS experiments with redesigning classrooms and other spaces on campus to find creative ways to optimize personalized learning.
We have begun to transform classrooms to create alternative seating and multiple learning spaces for self-directed and small group learning. This was accomplished with a relatively small budget by removing desks and bringing in bean-bags, pillows, and low tables to make the room more child-friendly. Results have been impressive. Every classroom has some type of alternate seating. Children are more able to move around without so much furniture in the space. Children can choose where they're going to sit when they work, and it's usually not at a desk!