In the education world, “maker” as a vocabulary word seems very trendy, but the thought behind it really isn’t new. We learn by doing. We do by creating. The ability to create within the content requires connections among a variety of different related content pieces and often testing and trouble-shooting which are themselves tasks that require pretty significant understanding.
So, it shouldn’t surprise us that creative activities seem valuable from a learning standpoint.
What is significant is how satisfying they are for our students… 0r at least the advocates would have us believe. I was able to be a learner today in an all-day session regarding maker-style learning and this quote by Mark Hatch certainly got my attention.
“Making is fundamental to what it means to be human. We must make and express ourselves to feel whole.”
A Google search of the quote revealed a second part of the quote:
“There is something unique about making physical things. The things we make are like little pieces of us and seem to embody portions of our soul.” (Quote found here.)
That’s a pretty powerful statement. There aren’t a lot of areas of education that will evoke words like “soul” and phrases like “fundamental to what it means to be human.”
And it makes sense. Let’s remember that each of our students (and each of us) were CREATED. We were literally made by a MAKER. And we are not just made, but we are made specifically in the image and likeness of that maker. We are created to be creators.
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.’ ” (Genesis 1:26) This quote, by the way, is uttered just after God the Creator had made the universe and everything in it. Our Lord, Himself a maker, created humans and said “Let Us make them in Our image…”
So, it should not at all be surprising that a day spent making is much less likely to feel like a day wasted. Perhaps our souls recognize that the time spent making is time that is bringing us closer to the image in which we were created. Time spent being who God made us to be. A chance to be our best selves.
And isn’t that our job as educators? To help our students be their best selves?