Making Space for All: Ensuring Gender Equity in Educational Makerspaces

  • Kristen Fitzsimmons


This paper examines the relationship between gender and making within an educational context, a topic which is not thoroughly addressed in existing empirical studies. By reviewing literature from these two distinct fields it answers the research question: What factors are identified in the research as influencing gender equity in educational makerspaces? The conceptual framework for educational makerspaces guides an examination of themes in current literature. The people who use the space, the activities that occur there and the means that are available are interconnected aspects which can all have an impact on gender equity. The Self-determination Theory in relation to makerspace continuance outlines the basic psychological needs that must be met in order for a user to be intrinsically motivated to continue using a makerspace. Finally, recommendations are made for future research regarding barriers to participation, the use of e-textiles and design of the physical environment.