The original purpose for this blog is to create a platform to share the results of my reading, research, and learning about makerspaces and participatory learning in school libraries for a graduate course. The course, “ETAD 898 – Makerspaces & Participatory Learning in Libraries” is an independent study within the Educational Technology & Design Program at the University of Saskatchewan.
Here is the course description (posted with permission):
“This course will involve an exploration of “makerspaces” and participatory learning in primary and secondary school library settings. The student will examine the emergence and applications of makerspaces as they have evolved from other uses and environments such as museums. Through the course, the student will compile literature with a particular emphasis on recent research projects focused on makerspaces. The student will locate, evaluate, and synthesize articles and research on this topic with the goal of examining the potential applications and effects of makerspaces in primary and secondary school libraries.
During the course, the student will enhance his/her knowledge of and skills in conducting literature searches, writing annotated bibliographies, and writing literature reviews. These are key skills in building towards a Master of Education thesis or project.”
Following the completion of this ETAD 898 course, it’s my intent to further develop the blog’s content to reflect my own professional views and experiences regarding school libraries and learning in the 21st Century.
Why “Curiosity Commons”?
“We need pedagogy free from fear and focused on the magic of children’s innate quest for information and understanding.”
~ Sugata Mitra
The blog title, “Curiosity Commons”, is rooted in the new moniker for school libraries: the Library Learning Commons. A “Commons”, according to the Oxford Dictionary, refers to “Land or resources belonging to or affecting the whole of a community”, which is exactly what a school library learning commons does: it provides equitable community access to both resources and learning experiences (“Commons”, 2015).
The Oxford Dictionary defines “curiosity” as “A strong desire to know or learn something” (“Curiosity”, 2015). I believe that our school library resources and programming should cater to our students’ curiosity. After all, curiosity is a natural student trait. Therefore, “Curiosity Commons” is a quality that I strive to create in my own school library learning commons. It’s a community “resource haven” that incites a strong desire to know or learn something. I believe that makerspaces can be a catalyst for creating this “curiosity commons” element within school libraries.
It’s my hope that you will “linger in the lines” of this blog, and that its resources and anecdotes will encourage you to create your own “curiosity commons” within a school community.
“It is incumbent upon educators to cherish the gifts that children bring to us, even if just an absence of fear, and help them build upon those gifts, to go farther than they could have gone on their own” (Martinez & Stager, 2013, p. 160).
Commons. (2015). In The Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/commons
Curiosity. (2015). In The Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/curiosity
Martinez, S. L., & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Torrance, CA: Constructing modern knowledge press.