Creativity and Innovation

Engaging hearts, heads, and hands in the TKS Maker Place
Di Laycock   &   Timothy Ross
Abstract

The maker movement currently sweeping the globe puts a label on something that humans have always done and will always do: create things to solve problems that are personally meaningful. What distinguishes the movement from previous notions of making, however, is the addition of a technology focus that allows traditional making to be extended and reshaped, and which moves making from a primarily private pursuit to a collaborative one where projects and ideas are shared. So, what better way to encourage and assist boys to acquire and develop the knowledge and skills necessary to survive and thrive in contemporary society than to let them ‘make’?

With the theoretical backing of educational luminaries such as Dewey, Vygotsky, Piaget, and Papert, the act of making cannot be dismissed as a passing educational fad. Join us in our Senior Library’s Maker Place to hear our makerspace story–why we built it and how it operates to foster curiosity, creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking in our boy makers. Be encouraged to reflect on the potential of design thinking to develop the so-called ‘soft skills’ such as resilience and perseverance as boys are encouraged to ‘fail forward’. Furthermore, hear details of the way in which the boys and staff collaborate on the Maker Place program and how everything from cardboard to computers can be a resource.

Biographies

Di Laycock is Head of Library Services at The King’s School and a keen advocate for makerspaces in schools. Di also sits on the Board of the International Boys’ School Coalition [IBSC] and has played a pivotal role in the development of the now vibrant IBSC Action Research Program, which, in 2015-16, focused on the topic of Boys and Making.

Timothy Ross is a Computing Studies teacher and also the Digital Projects Manager in the Senior Library at the King’s School. Together, Tim and Di designed and developed the Senior Library’s makerspace, which Tim now manages. In the Maker Place, Tim combines his professional expertise in digital technologies with his lifeworld interests in theatre and film-making to facilitate a playful learning environment in which the TKS boys’ creativity is encouraged and nurtured.