Diving Deeper by Creating

A buzzword often heard around schools these days is ‘maker’. Our school is looking at the transformation of a traditional science lab to a new age ‘Maker Space’. But why?

George Courus, author of the book The Innovator’s Mindset states in his book that “The ability to innovate, to create something new and better, is a skill that organizations worldwide are looking for today.”

If the highest level of understanding, according to Bloom’s Taxonomy, is creating and designing original work, why as educators are we not striving to make this the norm in classrooms? I won’t go on, but needless to say, the research is pointing towards a culture of creation over consumption. Today I got a first hand look at what this concept means to grade 3 students here at The Ottawa Jewish School.

Students were tasked with showing their thinking of how they would solve math word problems. I was not only looking to see if they could do it, but was the concept of creating, designing, and solving their own problems helpful for their understanding. Of course, using pictures, numbers, and words to help create their solutions was an engaging activity for the entire class… I mean, who doesn’t like to doodle with markers.

What I found out after observing, documenting, and interviewing students was a 100% buy in, and if not a deeper understanding of the material, a deeper engagement to the details and processes of multiplication, as well as their own metacognition. I was amazed to see and hear how creating; the doodling, drawing, writing, storytelling, and explanations of their solutions used so much of their attention. To see their brain firing on so many levels and creating new pathways was impressive.

Would I want to be a learner in this classroom? Without a doubt the overwhelming response is yes, because as one student so beautifully put it… when you get to create “It’s just more fun!”

One thought on “Diving Deeper by Creating”

  1. @Josh
    The discussion about consumption vs. creation is one that has intrigued me for a while.
    Take a look at the following articles to see if they resonate with you as well…

    “These are just a few of the examples in the ways we can begin to consider how not just literacy, but learning itself can be “liquified” for the future. Especially in a time of shifting from consumption to creation. As Kevin Kelly shares in The Inevitable, “Liquidity brings a new ease to creation.” –
    https://dculberh.wordpress.com/2016/09/22/the-new-liquidity-of-learning/

    “Yet our notion of “creation” is changing. Creation can be that of a product, but it also can be a service, or media, amongst other things. This is why students need to not only consume in schools (consumption is not a bad word nor should it be seen as something bad to do in schools), but we have to ensure there is time for students to “create”, as well as share these ideas with the world.” – https://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/6981

    “In an era of well-funded propaganda (e.g., Russian sponsorship of facebook ‘news’ stories), literacy itself is insufficient. It has to be paired with critical thinking to move from unidirectional, passive consumption to omnidirectional, fluid, dynamic, active ‘sense-making.’” – https://www.teachthought.com/literacy/how-res-ding-different-future-literacy/

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