Making at Home: Interest-Driven Practices and Supportive Relationships in Minoritized Homes
2. The Maker Movement and ‘Making’
3. A Model for Connected Learning
4.1. Research Questions
4.2. Study Context
4.3. Setting and Participants
4.4. Data Sources
4.5. Analytical Approach
4.5.1. Survey Data Overview
4.5.2. Interview Data Analysis
Interviewer: Ok. Ok. Um…and bird houses. Who taught you how to make birdhouses?
Anne: My dad... Um I wanted to do something with my hands and that was before I did weaving and sewing… So…um, I did [made] it for my uncle. ‘Cause he loves birds...
5.1. Extent of Interest-Driven Maker Practices
5.1.1. The Landscape of Youth Engagement with Maker Activities
5.1.2. Resources Youth Drew Upon When Engaged in Making at Home
Interviewer: I wanted to talk with you about your making and crafting. You talk about building models—and I just wanted to ask you how you learned about that?
Brady: My grandfather taught me how to make that, anything I wanted to help him with. So my grandfather is the one that really taught me how to do it—he got me started. We made a model boat—a model ship—a ship inside a bottle—I helped him do that.
Interviewer: ...you said you learned [scrapbooking] from your mom and your grandmother about some of these activities.
Ashley: My mom—she works for an advertising company so a lot of her stuff is creative and she knows how to draw and stuff—so like when I do projects—and scrapbooks and stuff, she helps me with designs and she usually gets me creative scissors and stuff—so I use that to like do the border of my scrapbook and stuff—and she goes and gets all the pictures and I know that is hard and stuff because we live not far, but not walking distance—so I know it is hard to go and get pictures developed and stuff—and she inspires me to do what I want and what I like to do because if I let restrictions hold me back, I’ll never get done with anything.
5.2. Conditions under Which Youth Engage in Maker Practices
5.2.1. Reasons for Making
Claire: If I see something I really want to do—then I tell my mom about it and then we start looking for stuff about it.
Interviewer: Have you ever..., uh, while you are out seeing something that somebody is wearing.
Claire: Yeah, I see a lot of girls are wearing these necklaces—and I ask them what they make them from and they say shirts, so I really want to try to do that someday.
Interviewer: So, what does the necklace look like—it’s made out of shirts?
Claire: Well actually it’s like a scarf—they cut the scarf up and then tie it around and make it look like a scarf.
Interviewer: And who else in your family crafts or makes things.
Claire: No one else really does that.
Interviewer: Nice...So, um. And how did you ... like, decide you wanted to do a birdhouse?
Anne: Well, the first time I remember going to my uncle’s house. I remember him having the purple martin houses and I knew that he liked birds. ‘Cause I didn’t know what they were so I asked him what they were, and he said they were birds. And so, for his birthday, which was just yesterday, so, for his birthday that the next year I made him a birdhouse, so and I knew he liked birds, so I made him a birdhouse. That’s why I made a birdhouse.
Interviewer: So how do you happen to get involved in this [sewing] are your mom and grandmother doing it—or do you ask about it—do you just-
Ashley: When I was little I saw my grandmother using a sewing machine and I thought it looked so cool—it’s not like everyone can do it—it’s like….she’s sewing a dress by herself—and like, not a lot of people can do that….so when I got older I just wanted to be like one of those people that is like creative and doing well manually with her hands...and like that was really cool—and I like see other people’s grandmothers and stuff—knitting—and I just wanted to learn how to do it—that’s it—that’s the main thing with knitting—um—people making these really pretty sweaters and these really pretty ah scarves and I just wanted to make one. So that’s why I got into knitting.
Interviewer: Do you enjoy knitting?
Marlene: Yeah, it’s kind of fun, it’s kind of relaxing type. Where if I’m like in stress it helps me calm down and it’s fun because I get to talk to my friends [in an after school class] and stuff. And then I can make my own fashions because one day I made a scarf—out of rainbow string. So, then I gave it to my grandma—and she liked it—but making my stuff was kind of fun so I would just calm down sometimes. And I always teach my mom how to knit—but never got the hang of it yet. So, I would make my own stuff—and that is awesome because I like got to use different type of yarn and stuff made of color I like. And since I learned how to finish off a scarf instead of having pieces left, it seemed kind of fun—because every time you did it—you could put your own imagination and stuff.
Interviewer: And who do you share your work with?
Josephine: I like giving people things that I make.
Interviewer: Who do you give things to?
Josephine: Just family for their birthdays and stuff like that.
Interviewer: Does that affect what you are going to make—so you have an idea of who you are going to give it to before you even start making it?
Josephine: Yes, it kind of motivates me to make it better if I am making it for someone besides myself.
5.2.2. Different Ways Families Support Youth Making at Home
Interviewer: What does your dad build?
Joseph: He builds stuff for the house. Like, he bought a house and he repaired it all by himself. He built stuff he wanted inside. And he’s a carpenter so he does roofs also.
Interviewer: How did you learn about crocheting and friendship bracelets and keychains?
Claire: Me and my mom went to this store—it’s called [store name]—and it has a lot of stuff in it—oh that looks cool and she buys stuff for me. So, I get to start it.
[later in the interview]
Interviewer: So, who gets the idea of what you want to do—where does it start?
Claire: It starts with me, but sometimes when things get really hard, I don’t want to do it anymore—so my mom keeps pushing me to do it.
Interviewer: Does your mom make things herself?
Claire: Not really.
Interviewer: No, so she doesn’t knit or sew or crochet or anything like building—make birdhouses or anything?
Interviewer: ...does anyone else in your family and friends get involved like when you make things? I guess we didn’t talk about your sewing and building models, too. So, what do you make in model making or what do you sew?
Marlene: My mom she taught me how to sew so on some days when I ask her if I can sew—she, um. Like today, I am going to sew my sister’s shorts. We, um, I just wanted to learn how to sew because it seemed cool and it is kind of like knitting so I thought it would be easy, so I just got me interested in that
Interviewer: Have you ever worked with your dad?
Interviewer: What kinds of things have you done with him?
Joseph: He was, uh, fixing a lamp for the outside and I was giving him tools and holding stuff for him. Like uh, holding stuff in place. So, he could screw stuff in.
Interviewer: Tell me about what you are making.
Nolan: Well, one day I helped my dad build a bench for my football team and another time we made a chair...
Interviewer: ...and what is probably your favorite project that you worked with—either with your grandpa, your uncle,
Nolan: Well, my whole family pitched together at my great-grandma’s house—she’s still living—we pulled up the carpet and sanded the floor and uh—you see that edge over there—there were nails through the molding and we had to use a hammer to kind of pull all of the nails and pull the molding off—that was my favorite project.
5.2.3. Missed Opportunities for Connections to Making
Interviewer: So, you said [in the survey] that your grandfather makes, what does he make?
Karla: He makes birdhouses—he moved from where my parents are right now—he made a screen house and uh, he built like a bar in the downstairs—he um—what else did he build?—he built, um like a room inside um like downstairs, like his tool room he built the bathroom in the basement.
Interviewer: So, one thing I wanted to ask is... it seems like you haven’t done any making before or crafting. How come? Do you know why?
Megan: Uhm, no.
Interviewer: Does anyone in your family make things or craft?
Megan: [Shakes head no]
[A few minutes later]
Interviewer: What about your family? What do they do in their spare time?
Megan: My mom is always working. She works at a hospital. My grandma is always running somewhere, and grandpa works as a doorman downtown—so does my uncle, so.
5.2.4. Opportunities and Learning Pathways Connected to Making in the Home
We charge like $10 [USD] to fix bikes—but if a chain slips—we only charge like $5 because that’s something simple that anybody can do. If it is something major—like bolts are all out of place—the wheel is like wobbly—we would help out and go buy pieces—put them on and charge like $15 for something like that, ‘cause you know because of expenses, cause it’s not that expensive to buy everything—and sometimes people bring in stuff that they think we need and help us out a bit—so we teach people how to do it so…
We set up flyers in our neighborhood. Sometimes we go out to different neighborhoods and we’ll set up because we have some friends that live in those neighborhoods, they want some money and they want to help so we’ll set up in front of their garage and help out and then give everyone their cut. And my friend [name] is the head of expenses and he knows, and he knows how to separate the money, so everyone gets the right amount. And the people on top—like me and [friend’s name]—we get more money because we are the ones that kind of started it. So, he helps out with the money and he also helps out with the bikes, but not in a big way.
6.1. Extending the Connected Model to Understand Levels of Learning in Making with a Focus on Supportive Relationships
- Level 1: Youth is peripherally exposed to making practices and activities in the home (no interaction)
- Level 2: Youth observes produced artifacts and making practices in the home (apprenticeship)
- Level 3: Youth gains access to resources (e.g., expertise, materials, space, tools) for making in the home (apprenticeship towards guided participation)
- Level 4: Youth learns from family member’s explicit teaching (guided participation)
- Level 5: Youth makes along family member as full participant (participatory appropriation)
6.2. Limitations and Future Research
6.3. Additional Implications
Conflicts of Interest
- Name _____________________________________ D.O.B.____/____/____ Gender: M F
- Do you do any making/building or crafting? If so, what types of handcrafting or building/making do you do? (Check the appropriate boxes below and describe your activity a little more on the line provided next to each box. You can add crafting/making/building activities that aren’t listed here on the “Other” lines).
- Who taught you about these activities? How did or do you learn about these activities?
- How long have you been doing these making/crafting activities?
- Where have you done these making and/or crafting activities?
- Do any of your friends or family get involved in these activities? If so, who, and how do they get involved?
- With whom and where do you share your work?
- Where did your interest come from? What made you want to get started and why do you keep doing it?
- Who (else) crafts or makes/builds in your family and what do they make?
- Which of your friends craft or make/build and what do they make?
- Is there anything you would like to learn how to do?
|Theme: Types of supportive interactions between family members and youth|
|Work on own making activity||Family member’s own making||Mention of family member’s own making activities for leisure (e.g., knitting, jewelry making), business purpose (e.g., making lamps to sell), and any other hands-on activities including handiwork (e.g., fixing or constructing something at home or work)||-”My dad he repairs cars. Him and my grandfather are the only two that I know that do anything with crafting or building.”|
-”And then my mom, she knits, crochets, weaves, and then sews. “
|Teaching||Family member teaches making to youth||Youth’s mention of family member that taught a crafting/hands-on activity or youth learned from family member||-”my mom is helping me ‘cause and she and my sister letting me use their sewing machine. So, um, my mom has been teaching me how to sew and like the tricks of sewing”|
|Making together||Youth and family member create something together||Youth crafts or makes something together with a family member, including helping building or fixing something.||-”Interviewer: Tell me about what you are making.|
Nolan: Well, one day I helped my dad build a bench for my football team and another time we made a chair”
|Providing access||Family member gives access to classes, tools, and/or materials to youth||Mention of family member providing materials and/or tools to youth for crafting activity (including purchasing materials)||-”John: Well, on my birthday, my dad gave me one of those monster models, the creature from the black lagoon (which is my favorite movie), he gave me one of those…I did not know how to do it…. and he also gave me a set of paints, so I was guessing it was a model or something”|
|Theme: Reasons for making|
|Inspired by artifact||Youth inspired by watching others’ artifacts||Youth mentions how watching an artifact (e.g., dress) inspired them to either want to learn how to make that type of artifact (e.g., dress) or to learn the practice/how to (e.g., sewing)||-”Claire: Yeah, I see a lot of girls are wearing these necklaces- and I ask them what they make them from and they say shirts, so I really want to try to do that someday.”|
|Inspired by making process||Youth inspired by watching others’ making||Youth mentions how watching someone make and create an artifact (e.g., sewing, building, fixing) inspired them to learn how to either make that type of artifact or to learn the skill following the specific process and use of tools.||“Ashley: When I was little I saw my grandmother using a sewing machine and I thought it looked so cool—it’s not like everyone can do it—it’s like….she’s sewing a dress by herself—and like, not a lot of people can do that”|
|Fun||Making activity or artifact is fun, enjoyable, or relaxing||Youth refers to the making activity and/or artifact as fun and/or enjoyable.||-”So I would make my own stuff—and that is awesome because I like got to use different type of yarn and stuff made of color I like. And since I learned how to finish off a scarf instead of having pieces left, it seemed kind of fun—because every time you did it—you could put your own imagination and stuff. One time I checked how to do a hat. But I don’t have circular needles so I can’t do that yet. But making my own stuff is pretty fun “|
|Giving||Giving to others||Youth “share” their artifacts when making artifacts as gifts for others||-”Who do you share all your friendship bracelets, key chains, and necklaces with? Claire: Mostly my family—sometimes I give it to friends. but my family loves it the most, though”|
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|All Participants *||Interviewed Participants *|
|n = 27||n = 25||52||n = 12||n = 8||20|
|Grade Level / Age|
|4th / 9||-||1 (4%)||1 (2%)||-||-||-|
|5th / 10,11||1 (4%)||2 (8%)||3 (6%)||-||-||-|
|6th / 9–12||13 (48%)||13 (52%)||26 (50%)||7 (58%)||5 (63%)||12 (60%)|
|7th / 10–13||10 (37%)||5 (20%)||15 (28%)||4 (34%)||1 (13%)||5 (25%)|
|8th / 12,13||-||2 (8%)||2 (4%)||-||2 (25%)||2 (10%)|
|9th / 14||1 (4%)||-||1 (2%)||1 (8%)||-||1 (5%)|
|10th / 14||-||1 (4%)||1 (2%)||-||-||-|
|No response||2 (7%)||1 (4%)||3 (6%)||-||-||-|
|Black/African American||16 (59%)||12 (48%)||28 (54%)||7 (58%)||4 (50%)||11 (55%)|
|Black/African American and another Race||1 (4%)||3 (12%)||4 (7%)||1 (8%)||3 (37%)||4 (20%)|
|Hispanic||4 (15%)||2 (8%)||6 (12%)||2 (17%)||-||2 (10%)|
|White||5 (18%)||3 (12%)||8 (15%)||2 (17%)||1 (13%)||3 (15%)|
|No response||1 (4%)||5 (20%)||6 (12%)||-||-||-|
|Research Question||Data Source|
|1. To what extent do minoritized youth engage in maker practices?|
|(1a) What types of making are of interest to youth and to what extent are they engaged in making?||To address question 1a, we used the responses to the survey questions:|
#1—Do you do any making/building or crafting? If so, what types of handcrafting or building/making do you do?
#3—How long have you been doing these making/crafting activities?
|(1b) Where does this making primarily take place?||To address question 1b, we used the responses to the survey question:|
#4—Where have you done these making and/or crafting activities?
|(1c) What resources do minoritized youth draw upon to engage in making? *||To address question 1c, we used the responses to the survey question:|
#2—Who taught you about these activities? How did or do you learn about these activities?
|2. Under what conditions do minoritized youth engage in maker practices?|
|(2a) Why are they drawn to this type of making? *||To address question 2a, we used the responses to the survey question:|
#7a—Where did your interest come from?
#7b—What made you want to get started?
|(2b) How do relationships support and connect youth to making opportunities and future learning pathways? *||To address question 2b, we used the survey responses to the following questions:|
#5—Do any of your friends or family get involved in these activities? If so, who, and how do they get involved?
#6 With whom and where do you share your work?
#8—Who (else) crafts or makes/builds in your family and what do they make?
#9—Which of your friends craft or make/build and what do they make?
|(2c) What opportunities and learning pathways are made possible for youth as a result of their making? *||To address question 2c, we used the survey responses to the following question:|
#7c—Why do you keep doing it?
|n = 27||n = 25||52|
|Type of maker activity|
|Model Building Kits||8 (30%)||15 (60%)||23 (44%)|
|Sewing||13 (48%)||6 (24%)||19 (37%)|
|Scrapbooking||11 (41%)||6 (24%)||17 (33%)|
|Jewelry Making||11 (41%)||4 (16%)||15 (29%)|
|Woodworking||5 (19%)||10 (40%)||15 (29%)|
|Friendship Bracelets||12 (44%)||1 (4%)||13 (25%)|
|Knitting||9 (33%)||1 (4%)||10 (19%)|
|Crocheting||7 (26%)||3 (12%)||10 (19%)|
|Other: -Drawing||4 (15%)||3 (12%)||7 (13%)|
|-Paper Crafting||2 (7%)||3 (12%)||5 (10%)|
|-Lanyards||4 (15%)||-||4 (8%)|
|-Photography||2 (7%)||-||2 (4%)|
|-Comics||-||2 (8%)||2 (4%)|
|-Ceramics||-||2 (8%)||2 (4%)|
|-Miscellaneous *||7 (26%)||6 (24%)||13 (25%)|
|None||4 (15%)||3 (12%)||7 (13%)|
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Peppler, K.; Sedas, R.M.; Dahn, M. Making at Home: Interest-Driven Practices and Supportive Relationships in Minoritized Homes. Educ. Sci. 2020, 10, 143. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050143
Peppler K, Sedas RM, Dahn M. Making at Home: Interest-Driven Practices and Supportive Relationships in Minoritized Homes. Education Sciences. 2020; 10(5):143. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050143Chicago/Turabian Style
Peppler, Kylie, R. Mishael Sedas, and Maggie Dahn. 2020. "Making at Home: Interest-Driven Practices and Supportive Relationships in Minoritized Homes" Education Sciences 10, no. 5: 143. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050143