World Maker Faire: Making to Break the Mould
I was very fortunate to attend the Education Forum at the World Maker Faire 2016 in New York last week. My maker senses are still tingling after all of the intriguing, forward-thinking presenters and their diverse perspectives on Maker Education. There were many unique viewpoints on how we, as makers, can help improve education practices but there was one presenter who really stood out. The audience was captivated with his magnetic presence and important proclamation of "we need to break the mould of standardized education".
This call-to-action came from Julian, a high school student who went on to describe the roadblocks that he encountered while trying to organize a drone-flying club at his school. He explained why he didn’t give up (or in) to those who stood in his way. He saw the value in pursuing an endeavor even though it didn't fit the conventional education platform. Especially because it didn't fit...
So, what does that mean ? How do we, like Julian, break 'the mould'?
In my opinion, we do so by providing the tools and opportunities that encourage creativity, problem solving, and innovation (I know, an over-used word but also one lacking an appropriate synonym). What follows is magical. A desire emerges in students to learn more. To try new things. Maybe fail but then tailor and improve their methods until they achieve their own version of "success". They take ownership of their learning. Ownership of their education.
If I had to choose one message to take from the Maker Education Forum it would be less "sage on the stage" and more "guide on the side".
Help the students break the mould.