Maker Ed believes that maker-centered learning presents a transformational approach to education that attends to the real and relevant needs of learners and humans. Maker education emphasizes agency, developing a sensitivity to design, empowering youth to change their worlds, increases criticality, joy, and intellect-building, and centers the identity and experiences of youth. Through a focus on making that prioritizes process and connection, we can create a cultural shift in education that centers rehumanizing, anti-racist, and culturally relevant practices.
As an organization, we offer professional development for educators, administrators, and program leaders in a variety of institutions, such as schools, museums, makerspaces, afterschool programs, libraries, and more in order to build and strengthen a network of maker educators. We have a suite of learning opportunities that bring together a combination of in-person and online experiences designed to meet the needs of educators in both formal and informal settings, serving learners of all ages.
Our approach to professional development is intentionally designed to be experiential, where educators actively participate from the perspectives of their learners as a way to reflect on their own practice, facilitation, and design of maker-centered learning experiences. Our work is deeply rooted in the ongoing practice of our team and our community. As research into maker-centered learning evolves, we continually integrate new findings into our approach.
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Our Approach to Professional Development
Experiential: Maker Ed professional learning is immersive and participatory. Educators actively participate, and approach their experiences with the perspectives of learners in mind.
Equity: Maker Ed professional learning supports educators to actively design for equity in learning environments, and we build structures to provide a spectrum of entry points for learners of any culture, background, or ability to access a productive experience.
Community: Maker Ed professional learning is built to intentionally provide space and structure for educators to collaborate with and learn from each other, while building relationships and connections across the movement.
Reflective: Maker Ed professional learning includes dedicated time for reflection—both from the lens of learner and educator.
Joy: Maker Ed professional learning is grounded in our belief that the work of learning and creating isn’t sustainable without joy which plays an integral role in being able to imagine and create a vibrant future.
Rooted in Practice: Maker Ed professional learning is deeply rooted in the ongoing practice of our team and the maker education community. As research into maker-centered learning evolves, we continually integrate new findings into our approaches.
Our workshops are built on our professional development skeleton which provides structure towards these approaches.
“I am leaving this experience a better educator and a better person. Thank you for providing a rich and joyful week of real human connection. I will never forget this.”
“I just learned more ways to de-center whiteness and white supremacy culture in education which is more than I could have ever asked for.”
“It was an amazing experience. This was my first time working with other educators with a maker mindset. The affirmations, feedback and learning spaces made me feel like I belonged there and to not shy away from sharing my ideas and trying out new things, regardless of lack of experience.”
“I am completely blown away by this amazing workshop. I expected just a few activities on how to make things and integrate it into the classroom but I walked away consciously thinking about how I can make my activities more equitable… I had incorporated some ideas for service learning/social justice but I feel more empowered now with all the resources you have taught us.”
”My Maker Ed learning pathway has not only impacted how I teach maker centered learning but how I make and create. Everything I have learned here will be carried throughout my life as an educator and as a person in society. I am so grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow as a maker. Truly a wonderful experience!”
”I learned more about making and consistently brought back new ideas and concepts, particularly around inclusion, cultural relevance, and accessibility. It made me reflect more on my work and think about it from different perspectives.”
“[This] PD has been one of the most wonderful experiences I have had so far. Starting by rethinking ourselves and unlearning old ways of thinking about racism and privilege was great to help us enter into culturally responsive teaching and maker-centered learning… [this was] an intricate course filled with useful and applicable resources, fun activities, moments of making together, moments to reflect and breathe, and nurtured a community of practice focused on joy.. Thank you for making me feel I found a community of like-minded educators, and for making us feel close even though we were physically separated by miles and miles!”
In addition to the above opportunities, don’t forget to check out our online Resource Library, previous national programs, and the annual Maker Educator Convening.