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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Making Stuff and Making Change: Identity Development and Transformational Resistance in a School-Based Makerspace
by Gaston, Mary Maulhardt, Ed.D., Mills College, 2020, 161; 28262218
Abstract (Summary)

As the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) grows to the world’s economy grows, structural and educational barriers prevent people of color from having an equitable presence in STEM fields. STEM education for Black and Brown students remains often basic and teacher-directed, despite efforts over the last decade influenced by the Maker Movement, to develop school-based makerspaces utilizing constructionist principles. This collective case study sought to understand how the school-based makerspace experiences of Latinx graduates became or did not become a part of their identity as adults and what impact, if any, that had on their life trajectory. Primarily using oral history and high school making interviews, this study shed light on graduates' identities as makers and what impact, if any, making experiences had on their becoming changemakers in their communities. The major findings of this study include 1) a pre-high school maker identity based on resourcefulness, 2) the enhancement of agency and purpose through maker-centered learning experiences, 3) changemaking evident but not explicitly linked and 4) the maker-centered learning program as an act of social justice. These findings highlight the possibility of maker-centered learning to provide culturally relevant STEM experiences, especially when students’ pre-high school maker identities are validated and welcomed into the makerspace. This both values their lived experiences and challenges the dominant ideology of who is allowed to make and what counts as making and knowledge production. These findings also point to the need for early access to rigorous STEM content through maker-centered learning for Black and Brown students to allow them time and space to find their place in STEM.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lara, Argelia
Commitee: Wright, Dana, Nava, Pedro
School: Mills College
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational technology, Science education
Keywords: Identity development, K-12 education, Makerspace, Making, STEM education, Transformational resistance
Publication Number: 28262218
ISBN: 9798557034715
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