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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Tinkering in k-12: an exploratory mixed methods study of makerspaces in schools as an application of constructivist learning
by Cross, Ashley, Ed.D., Pepperdine University, 2017, 177; 10265494
Abstract (Summary)

Makerspaces have experienced a surge in popularity in recent years, resulting in an influx of Maker education in K-12 settings. While Makerspaces have been studied abundantly in museums, libraries, and in after-school programs, little research has been conducted inside the K- 12 school day. The goal of this study is to discover insights of established Makerspaces inside the K-12 school environment. In this exploratory mixed methods study, educators were survived, examining school and participant demographics, Makerspace setup, as well as intersections of technology, content, and pedagogy. Next, the researcher conducted a follow-up interview with selected participants based on diversity in the following key demographic areas: teacher gender, professional background, and school environment. In order to better understand K-12 implementation of Makerspaces, the study examines seven characteristics of Makerspaces: setting, computational thinking, participant structures, teacher training, gender and racial issues, assessment, and sustainability. The data was examined through TPACK framework with a constructivist approach. Makerspaces can empower students to invent, prototype, and tinker with low-cost technology tools such as microcircuits and fabrication tools such as 3d printers. The goal of this study is to add to the body of literature regarding the role and potential value of Makerspaces in school environments. This exploration of Makerspaces in K-12 setting could be generalized to serve as a guide for teachers who want to establish their own Makerspace.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Polin, Linda
Commitee: Fusco, Judi, Moseley, Bill
School: Pepperdine University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 78/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Elementary education, Educational technology
Keywords: Constructivist, K-12, Makerspaces, School makerspace, Tinkering
Publication Number: 10265494
ISBN: 978-1-369-77520-4
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