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By: Margo Ensz on November 25th, 2014

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How does the Maker Movement "Fit" with Standards?

Academic Subject: STEM | Featured Topics: Common Core | Featured Topics: Education Policy

“Although the Common Core and the Maker Movement grew from two very different places…both reflect a larger shift in how we think about teaching and learning, one that recognizes that rote testing isn’t going to prepare kids for the dynamic world ahead that will ask them to adapt to new technology and problems faster than we have ever had to.”
 
 
 

Standards

The Maker Movement is not meant to be “one more thing” to add onto already standards and requirement heavy curriculum. In fact, advocates of the movement find that it aligns closely with the Common Core and other standards.

While the scenes of controlled chaos and testing in rows seem to be at odds, supporters of the Common Core say that the end goals are the same: “The central goal of the standards is to cultivate critical thinking and collaboration to reinvigorate deeper learning. We don’t know what jobs will be ahead of us, but we do know that being able to think critically will prepare learners,” and, “The maker movement equips kids to solve problems we don’t yet know exist. That should be a goal of education as a whole and, like any good maker problem, the best way to do that probably involves more than one solution.”

However, it can be difficult to align these two learning paths institutionally, fiscally, and logistically. “When we talk about how ‘making’ can align with Common Core,” writes Sylvia Libow Martinez, author of Invent to Learn, “it requires schools and districts to refocus on those overarching goals, and away from how many computers you need to run the tests.”

A great example of a teacher using the Maker Movement to reach ELA students and meet standard targets is Michelle Schira Hagerman of Michigan State University. In her post, "The Maker Movement and Enlgish Language Arts," she explains how she found that the Maker Movement can connect to Common Core standards and can also connect to English Language Arts.

“As our colleagues in science and the technical subjects learn to teach literacies to meet the CCSS expectations, I see the integration of electric circuits in ELA, inspired by the Maker Movement, as interdisciplinary reciprocity.” 

Ms. Hagerman hosted a Mini Maker Faire which involved the creation of a wearable electrical circuit. She offers suggestions for ELA teachers for writing assignments tied to this creation and to the concept of light and electricity in fiction.

Do you think the Maker Movement will be able to align with Common Core and other state standards? Why or why not? We'd love to hear from you--leave a comment!

Interested in learning more about the Maker Movement? Click below to read more. 

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