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Browsing by Author "Volotinen, Iina"

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  • Volotinen, Iina (2017)
    This Bachelor’s thesis reviews the current state of the so-called ‘maker culture’, which originated in the United States, within the field of Finnish design and technology education. In particular, I focus on the physical and social constructs of learning environments within the maker culture. The ‘makerspaces’ emerging from this movement represent an up-and-coming trend in learning environments at all levels of education. I used qualitative research methods to answer two research questions: (1) how to equip makerspaces based on the latest research, and (2) what kinds of learning do makerspaces support? The research undertaken in this thesis emerges from the practical need to acquire more knowledge for building new types of learning environments and cultures. At the moment, no extensive research on the maker culture exists in Finnish, but English-language materials are readily available. The theoretical part of the thesis consists of three chapters, which describe the maker culture and the makerspace phenomenon in general, while paying specific attention to the learning environments and their educational context. The qualitative research method selected for the study involved conducting a systematic literature review to evaluate the available material and its contents. The contents were analyzed from four perspectives: space, instruments, services, and activity culture. The analysis revealed that makerspaces can be equipped with modern technology, such as 3D printers and laser cutters, but they also feature traditional and recycled tools and materials. The results show that to ensure the functionality and accessibility of makerspaces as learning environments, the stakeholders and the culture of the respective subject must be taken into account in the design and construction of makerspaces. The pedagogy of the learning environment emphasizes the sharing of competence, thus reflecting the concept of collective competence. Finally, community makerspace learning environments were found to support phenomenal and exploratory learning, which may stimulate an entrepreneurial attitude. The results of the thesis can be used to design new, more diversified learning environments, and to inform decision-making when planning the pedagogy and architecture of new learning environments.