OER hosts Dr Deborah Fields
Thursday, 11 May 2017
The Office of Education Research (OER) hosted Dr Deborah Fields from Utah State University from 12th to 13th April 2017.
Dr Fields’s expertise lies in the Maker Movement in education – an approach that emphasises hands-on experimentation to facilitate students’ learning. During her visit, she presented at two OER-organised seminars on the Maker Movement in education.
Dr Fields explaining strategies to incorporate ‘making’ into lessons
The first seminar, titled “Why Bother Putting ‘Making’ in the Classroom? Opportunities and Practical Strategies”, centered on the value of ‘making’ as a pedagogical strategy. Dr Fields explained the approaches adopted by some educators in the United States to incorporate ‘making’ into lessons and shared the example of a ‘making’ unit on electronic textiles in science classes. She also mentioned that the incorporation of ‘making’ into lessons has improved students’ problem-solving skills and prompted them to reflect more deeply on their learning process.
Dr Fields describes the importance of the ‘Maker Movement’ in education
The second seminar, titled “Reasons to Research ‘Making’ in Education: Current Challenges and Research Directions in the Maker Movement”, focused on research that has been done on the Maker Movement in education. Dr Fields highlighted the challenges that the Maker Movement in Education faces with respect to equity, space, identity, training and connecting. She also spoke about the obstacles involved in broadening participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).