Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom

By Spence, Lucy K. | Language Arts, September 2015 | Go to article overview

Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom


Spence, Lucy K., Language Arts


Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary S. Stager, Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, 2013, 252 pp,. ISBN 978-0- 9891511- 0- 8

Have you heard of the maker movement? Invent to Learn explains the maker movement, some historical background, and ways to transform classrooms into project-oriented learning spaces. Authors Martinez and Stager have extensive backgrounds in computer technology and bring this expertise to their discussion of the maker movement. In fact, technology is at the center of this book, although it also includes low-tech projects. Beginning with chapter six, you will find practical ideas for unleashing creativity through making using some exciting materials, including conductive dough, conductive paint, and plain old-fashioned cardboard. The authors believe that technological innovations are driving changes in education and should be capitalized on to revolutionize schools. They draw upon the Reggio Emilia approach, John Dewey, and others to build their argument for a constructivist methodology in education.

Martinez and Stager point to technological innovation as a new horizon for teaching. "The last technological revolution allowed children to be writers, journalists, filmmakers, composers, photographers, and broadcasters. The next technology revolution will provide kids with expanded opportunities to be mathematicians, engineers, computer scientists, game designers, and more" (p. 90). Computers should not just be used for processing information, adopting what others have created, or other low-skill uses. …

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