Recently, my wife, Carla Sinclair (founding editor-in-chief of CRAFT magazine) copyedited a book called Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom. As she was editing it, she kept teling me, “this book is great.” So I started reading it. She’s right. Written by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary S. Stager, Invent to Learn (which was published this week) describes the benefits and opportunities of maker-based learning. Almost every page of the book has an insightful gem.
Example (page 50):
In most school activities, structure is valued over serendipity. Understanding is often “designed” by an adult committee prior to even meeting the students. Play is something you do at recess, not in class where students need to “settle down” and “be serious.” Schedules and bells tell students where to be and what they are to learn. Textbooks set the pace of learning, and teachers tend to follow the pattern of chapter assignments and tests. Too often, kids are hooked on teachers and teachers have a faith-based relationship with the textbook.
After reading Invent to Learn, I’m now seriously considering doing one year of homeschooling when my younger daughter enters 6th grade. My friend Kevin Kelly did this with his son and he said it was a terrific experience for the both of them. If we do it, Invent To Learn will be my guiding light.