Understanding the educators’ practices in makerspaces for the design of education tools

Dishita Turakhia, David Ludgin, Stefanie Mueller, Kayla Desportes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Makerspaces persist as formal and informal spaces of learning for youth, promoting continued interest in studying how design can support the variety of learning opportunities within these spaces. However, much of the current research examining learning in makerspaces neglects the perspectives of educators. This not only hinders our understanding of educators’ goals and how educators navigate makerspaces but also constrains how we frame the design space of the learning experiences and environments. To address this, we engaged in a set of semi-structured interviews to examine the contexts, goals, values, and practices of seven educators across five makerspaces. A thematic analysis of the data identified six key categories of competencies that these educators prioritize including a range of skills, practices, and knowledge, such as technical proficiency, communication, and contextual reflection. The analysis also identified five categories of strategies to accomplish certain goals, such as scaffolding, collaboration, and relationship building. Last, it also shed light on three categories of challenges faced at the student-level, teacher-level, and institutional level. We conclude with a discussion on our insights into how we can broaden the problem space in the design of educational technologies to support learning in makerspaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-358
Number of pages30
JournalEducational Technology Research and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • Educators
  • Makerskills
  • Makerspaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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