Ideation to implementation: A 4-year exploration of innovating education through maker pedagogy.

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    • Abstract:
      The current study explores how teachers' behaviors and environmental factors influenced the use of a K-12 makerspace. Teachers attended professional learning sessions, developed a makerspace, and created curricular units aimed at teaching students design thinking stages and principles. Given the longitudinal (4 years) nature of this study within an authentic environment, this qualitative study reports data collected from focus groups, with varied teacher participation (n = 7-14 teachers). Using thematic analysis, we identified two primary themes. First, teachers' behaviors were pliable, as they embraced yet requested additional change, collaboratively explored, attempted to reconcile their sense of responsibility, and sought knowledge as an ongoing pursuit. Second, the teachers were embedded within an environmental context that influenced their implementation through professional learning opportunities, use of planning time, access to the space, and the overall school culture. The nuance within these themes shifted throughout the 4 years of implementation. Collectively, these findings demonstrate the complex interaction between teachers and their environments when integrating a makerspace into students' educational experiences. Specific recommendations are discussed regarding the facilitation of effective collaboration and meaningful professional learning. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]