Teaching a maker mindset

Maker Mindset: defined

What is a maker mindset? The term “mindset” has become common in education and everyday use, and could generally be understood to mean an inclined set of attitudes and beliefs. To me, a maker mindset incorporates the following attitudes and beliefs:

  • Curiosity. A maker views the world through a lens of questions and answers, problems and solutions.
  • Perseverance. In making, learning happens best through mistakes and failure. With a maker mindset, growth consistently happens, and success can be redefined as learning through the process rather than the expected outcome.
  • Resourcefulness. Design constraints can come in many forms, and makers become more flexible at adapting to various constraints. In many ways, such adversity can create the best diversity in innovation.
  • Critical Thinking. Makers rely on both skills and knowledge to achieve their objective. The questions never truly stop, and that drives the critical thinking.
  • Collaboration. No one person can know it all, and makers learn to work with others through the making process.
  • Confidence. Makers, through developing the attitudes and beliefs above, are empowered to change the world with their ideas, skills, and knowledge.

A few ways to teach a maker mindset

  1. Create a culture that values learning through mistakes and failure over a perfect outcome.
  2. Provide opportunities for play, dreaming, questioning, and being inspired.
  3. Connect with the real world- relevant issues, problems, careers, mentors, etc.
  4. Strike a balance between the expected and unexpected. Have routines and systems, but don’t be afraid of challenges.

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