Spotlight for Critical Making revisited – still an approach towards better education?

Alexander Kutschera, Ricardo Ruiz Freire, Susanne Grunewald

How can we prepare the youth for future challenges? Let’s shine some light on Critical Making for education. In this workshop, we will build a small flashlight, and you can experience the concepts of Critical Making first hand. One year after our first workshop, we want to share experiences and challenges we faced.
Hands On

Tl;dr: You want to know what Critical Making means and experience it first hand? Join this workshop and build a small flashlight with us!

In recent years many shortcomings in education were brought to light and new focus areas have been identified to improve what and how we teach our kids. The so-called 4Cs - communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity – should play a more important role as well as digital skills and education for sustainable development. However, similar to other interdisciplinary skills, their fostering often does not have a fixed place in school curricula. There is a lack of concepts on how to promote the 4Cs as well as digital and sustainability awareness in the educational context.

The fear of skilled worker shortage and its economic implication gave rise to various funding programs to foster STEM education. With this development also Making has become a popular buzzword for promoting digital, technical and scientific skills inside and outside the school context.

But aren’t we forgetting something here?

Unfortunately, Making is often anything but sustainable or critical. Due to the focus on STEM, usually only the digital part is important and the 4Cs fall by the wayside, along with sustainability. We think Critical maker education should lead Making back to its origins and make the Maker mindset visible in the education sector. And to distinguish itself from offers that are only about STEM promotion.

In this workshop, we want to give you some insights into our approach to Critical Making and let you experience it first hand. While we build a small flashlight together, we will explain the concepts of Critical Making and will highlight some starting point to make your projects, workshops or lessons more critical. One year after our first Critical Making in Education workshop, we want to share the insights we gained and challenges we faced.