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Sue Corbin

Notre Dame College

The Little Makerspace that Could

Student in maker space using two 3-D printer penThe Maker Movement has been gaining momentum over the past 14 years with the publication of MAKE magazine in 2005 and the first Maker Faire sponsored by John Dougherty. The book titled Invent to Learn, 2nd Ed.  (2019) has become what is known as the Maker’s Movement Bible. Written by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager, the book goes into detail about how teachers and students can let loose their creativity in a myriad of ways if they are provided with space and materials to do so. 

There have always been “makers” who used their hands, brains, and hearts to invent and produce the things that people use for work and play. Classrooms have long been known as places where students could be caught making things on any given day. Why the hype about maker spaces, then?

Perhaps it has to do with the disconnect that appears to have occurred due to the technology revolution that has moved learning through exploring with material objects to learning from screens. On our small campus in Northeast Ohio, we have seen a constant move toward emptying the library of books and journals in favor of digital texts. Getting a hard copy of a textbook from publishing companies is becoming more of a challenge as well. Students on all levels rely more on Google than library stacks to conduct their research. It may be that the pendulum, as it always does, is beginning to swing the other way, and humans are craving the need to get back to hands-on learning that can leave printing ink on your hands, and clay under your finger nails.

TAG Session Explores Fairness, Evidence in EPP Accreditation

The authors are members and leaders of the AACTE topical action group called “All Things Accreditation.” The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

At the most recent AACTE Annual Meeting, we hosted a session on behalf of the All Things Accreditation Topical Action Group (TAG) to explore the expectations of Standard 4 of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The session, “A Courageous Conversation About Fairness, Justice, and Accountability in EPP Assessment and Impact on P-12 Student Learning,” aimed to evaluate current practices specific to CAEP Standard 4 as well as the merit of using standardized or criterion-referenced state tests designed to evaluate PK-12 student learning as a metric to judge the viability of educator preparation providers (EPPs). We discussed complications around value-added measures (VAM) and the fairness of judging EPPs by their graduates’ impact on student learning.

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