I wasn’t going to do a personal post about Make Club as Stephen and Kim have already so beautifully captured much of the thinking behind the initiative. However Make Club has been a constant thought on my mind and this post is a personal reflection of those thoughts.
Make Club emerged form a series of conversations that revolved around empowering our kids and bringing the community together in ways that lead to meaningful learning for all. We wanted to create a space where children, parents, teachers & community members could learn with and from each other.
One of the things we do in education is work hard to make sure all children have opportunities to be great. But opportunity isn’t always enough. Our kids come to school with varying levels of cultural capital and this affects how well they can access learning opportunities. Kids that come from backgrounds where technology, making and tinkering is valued and who’s parents have some skills in those areas tend to be the ones that have more digital cultural capital. Teaching parents along side their kids can build a bank of cultural capital and help lessen the divide. Teachers can also build their confidence and skill level with technology and making.
For some, technology can be scary and it is easy for techy people to forget that for some the basics need scaffolding. We wanted to create a safe place for people to take risks and try new things whether it be learning their way around a computer to serious engineering challenges.
Another challenge in education is battling stereotypes. Girls tend to get labeled as good at reading and boys good at maths and computing. Research shows that these stereotypes lead boys and girls to believe they are good at some things and not others based on gender. These beliefs are formed early and it is our hope that having lots of female role models and cultivating a gender-neutral environment at Make Club will help negate these stereotypes.
As a board member and parent I love the idea of our students and community learning to use a diverse range of technologies and tools in authentic contexts. I think this better equips people with the skills they need in the real world and more importantly stimulates many different ways of thinking and approaches to solving problems.
Make Club is about cultivating curiosity and empowering people to control their world and their learning. Kids and adults alike get to play, create, experiment, break, make and share their work in ways that are meaningful to them and their world. I can’t wait to share the rest of this year with my kids and community learning in Make Club!