Developing Pedagogy for the Creation of a School Makerspace: Building on Constructionism, Design Thinking, and the Reggio Emilia Approach

  • Sandra Becker University of Calgary
Keywords: makerspace, constructionism, Seymour Papert, design thinking, Reggio Emilia, collaboration, creativity, problem solving, technology, learning commons


Making and makerspaces, current buzz words in education, have gained prominence for their ability to develop the problem solving, collaboration, creativity, and technological skills needed for the 21st century. In preparation for the creation of a makerspace within a primary school learning commons, a list of necessary pedagogical components were identified based on three distinct discourses: constructionism, as derived from the work of Seymour Papert and the team in the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the principles of design thinking in an educational context, and the pedagogy of Reggio Emilia. In examining these discourses separately, the writer determined elements common to all three. Drawing upon these common elements, guiding questions were developed that can be used to inform the creation of a school makerspace.