Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Makers Among Us

I've read Scott McLeod's post, My Son is 8. He's a Maker several times over the past couple weeks. It haunts me, to be honest, because I could have written it about my own son. And I worry sometimes about how school will be for him. (Please take a few minutes and read it. Please.)

Maybe I'm actually a little worried about where school culture seems to be centered at the moment with so much emphasis on high-stakes testing and convergent, universal curriculum. I worry about how this affects creativity and motivation and engagement and true learning. What are students going to come away with? Excellent test-taking skills?

I'm sorry; I know that sounds cynical.

It's just that...you likely have makers in your classroom.

They are the doodlers.

The story-tellers.

The kids itching to do.

The ones who might shock you with their unique perspectives.

The ones who see surprising connections between diverse ideas.

The ones who create, create, create, create...the ones who can't seem to shut it off sometimes.


I wonder how school is going to be for the makers among us.

Is their creativity celebrated, and even encouraged?

Are teachers going to understand them and foster their gifts and allow them to think divergently?

Is school going to be "for them?"

I'll echo McLeod's final question--I hope it haunts you too...

My son is a maker. Are you ready for him?


  1. Yes, I'm ready for him. Most of the teachers in my school employ beautiful divergent curriculum while deeply addressing necessary content and process skills. Many of us are actively working on incorporating "21st century skills" and integrating empathy into our daily work (science + empathy = social justice and self-understanding!). And we just held our first open-innovation project days, and are plotting for incorporating "making" into the weekly schedule. So, dammit, it can be done! With resources and incredibly passionate teachers and administrators who bulldoze roadblocks, but it CAN BE DONE! (Amen!)

    1. Thanks for the response, Lindsey! I'm so glad to hear about your determination as a teacher and your school's deliberate intention to meet the needs of unique individuals--I believe we need share success stories like this and inspire more. Blessings to you as you continue to work at making school for makers!