Vossoughi, S. & Bevan, B. (October, 2014). Making and Tinkering: A review of the Literature. National research Council Committee on Out of School Time STEM: 1-55.
Vossoughi and Bevan (2014) conducted a literature review of educational research on making and tinkering. They considered what was known about learning opportunities for young people afforded by high-quality tinkering and making experiences. Specifically they reviewed the historical roots of making, the emerging design principles that characterized tinkering and making programs, the pedagogical theories and practices that lead to supportive and collaborative learning environments, as well as the possibilities and tensions associated with equity-oriented teaching and learning.
Tatalovic, M. (2009). Science comics as tools for science education and communication: A brief, exploratory study. Journal of Science Communication, 8(4), 1-17.
This paper argues that comic books, comic strips, and other sequential art covering scientific concepts and stories about scientists can be used to good effect for science learning, especially for grounding scientific fact in social contexts. The paper includes a rich list of existing comics that practitioners can use in classes and programs for ISE audiences.
Azevedo, F. S. (2011). Lines of practice: A practice-centered theory of interest relationships. Cognition and Instruction, 29(2), 147–184. doi:10.1080/07370008.2011.556834
What keeps an individual interested and motivates long-term engagement in a practice? This Azevedo article presents a grounded theory of long-term, self-motivated participation based on data gathered through an ethnography of hobbyists’ participation in model rocketry. The author emphasizes that long-term engagement depends on the connection of the activity to the participant’s “larger life.”
Petrich, M., Wilkinson, K., & Bevan, B. (2013) It looks like fun but are they learning? in Honey, M., & Kanter, D. E. (Eds.). Design, Make, Play: Growing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators. Routledge.
Petrich, Wilkinson, and Bevan (2013) explore three areas of design principles related to tinkering. The authors share their thinking related to the activity design, environmental design, and facilitation practices involved in creating and supporting rich tinkering experiences for museumgoers. They wrote a chapter on tinkering, which describes how the group initiated, cultivated, and facilitated a making and tinkering space on the floor of a museum. Specifically the chapter outlines principles for the activity design, the tinkering space, and the facilitation practices. The authors conclude by connecting these principles to conceptions of learning in general and engineering practices more specifically.
Newton, L. D., & Newton, D. P. (2010). What teachers see as creative incidents in elementary science lessons. International Journal of Science Education, 32(15), 1989–2005.
Primary teachers in England recognize opportunities for creativity and score scientifically creative incidents higher compared with incidents that represented reproductive thought but showed narrow conceptions of school science creativity. More opportunities were seen in descriptive rather than explanatory science, particularly in practical over non-practical activities and practical applications over reproductive thought.
Vossoughi, S., Escudé, M., Kong, F. & Hooper, p. (2013). Tinkering, learning & equity in the after- school setting. paper published as a part of FabLearn Conference proceedings. Stanford University.
This paper draws on ethnographic data to bring equity to the fore within discussions of tinkering and making. Vossoughi, Escudé, Kong & Hooper argue that equity lies in the how of teaching and learning through specific ways of: designing making environments, using pedagogical language, integrating students’ cultural and intellectual histories, and expanding the meanings and purposes of STEM learning. The authors identify and exemplify emergent equity-oriented design principles within the Tinkering After-School Program—a partnership between the Exploratorium and the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco.
van der Veen, J. (2012). Draw your physics homework? Art as a path to understanding in physics teaching. American Educational Research Journal, 49(2), 356–407.
This paper describes the potential benefits of incorporating art into physics education. Drawing and sculpture provide a way of understanding abstract concepts. The process may also allow educators to “humanize” physics and thus make it more accessible to historically marginalized groups.
Dorion, K.R. (2009). Science through drama: A multiple case exploration of the characteristics of drama activities used in secondary science lesson. International Journal of Science Education, 31(16), 2247–2270.
Dorion’s research, exploring the use of drama in science teaching, puts forth the concept of mime and role-play to help students to explore abstract scientific models. In addition, drama may support visualization of complex models. Drama can also change the dynamics within classroom talk and support a sense of community amongst students fostered by collaboration, social interaction, and fun.