Portland State University. Department of Educational Leadership and Policy
Dannelle D. Stevens
Date of Award
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction
Curriculum & Instruction
1 online resource (viii, 181 pages)
Makerspaces, Educational change, Teachers -- Attitudes
Current jobs in a global economy require more complex cognitive skills, such as critical thinking, cooperation, creativity, and collaboration, in addition to content knowledge. To address these areas, researchers have suggested the use of a 'makerspace' in schools. As with many other establishments, my school remodeled the primary school to create a makerspace for developing these skills. What impact might a makerspace -- a physical as well as a curricular change -- have on teachers' individual and collaborative learning? The purpose of this case study was to describe how the makerspace concept and changes to classroom or instructional space influence teachers' beliefs and practices as they develop the curriculum, follow the existing curriculum, revise ideas, and share knowledge with others. Our school branded the newest structural change 'Innovation Alley'. Under the leadership of the School Division Head, the concept of Innovation Alley was embedded in an effort to emphasize Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math (STEAM) and the Library, and combine them for cross-curricular purposes.
Drawing on field observations, interviews, and analysis of artifacts, videos, and other documents, I worked with and interviewed four of my colleagues to describe features of the emerging classroom or instructional spaces to consider how we developed our practice in this environment. I found that teachers placed high value on community, administrative, peer support, and shared knowledge-building in mitigating the stressors related to the innovation. There also appears to be a relationship between teachers' understanding of the makerspace development and their sense of control. When participants expressed interest in embracing the makerspace, they also indicated that they understood what they were doing. When they expressed a sense of loss of control or stress, they would often refer to using more traditional methods of teaching.
Nackerud, Rurik-Rory James, "Architectural and Philosophical 'Makerspace' Redesign Impact on Teacher Beliefs and Practices: a Case Study" (2019). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5090.