Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom

Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom

invent-to-learnRecently, 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.

6 thoughts on “Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom

  1. Laura Cochrane says:

    Have you seen this video that’s making the rounds, of student Jeff Bliss? “You want a kid to change, and start doing better? You gotta touch his freakin’ heart.”

    1. rwkahn3 says:

      I don’t understand how a teacher can “teach” sitting at their desk. It seems to indicate a lack of care for the students and a lack of passion for the subject. Who can be excited sitting down?!

  2. Don Mackay says:

    I teach a high school engineering class that relies extensively on project based learning. This book seems targeted towards elementary school grades. I am looking for specific ideas and inspiration relevant to 16-18 year olds. Will this book disappoint me?

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Mark Frauenfelder is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Make: magazine, and the founder of the popular Boing Boing blog.

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