Special Issue "Young Children, Maker Literacies and Social Change"

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Kristiina Kumpulainen
Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Siltavuorenpenger 5A, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
Interests: Her research has addressed pedagogies and learning environments that create opportunities for children’s creative, playful, and participatory learning. She also addresses children’s literacies and learning in an increasingly digitalized society
Prof. Anne Burke
Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL A1B 3X8, Canada
Interests: She researches and writes in the areas of children’s literacy engagements through the evolving role of technology, digital and immersive worlds, social justice, multiliteracies, materiality, and critical teaching pedagogies
Dr. Burcu Yaman Ntelioglou
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Teaching and Learning, Faculty of Education, Brandon University, 270-18th Street, Brandon, MB, R7A 6A9 Canada
Interests: Her work focuses on the education of linguistically and culturally diverse students in contexts of migration, multiculturalism and multilingualism; second/additional language pedagogy; multiliteracies; transnational literacies; language and literacy education in urban and rural school contexts; and the use of collaborative, community-based, participatory, and digital methodologies in research

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

This Special Issue focuses on the transformative potential of digital literacies in the lives of children aged 4 to 12 years old. Specifically, it focuses on the emerging notion of maker literacies that draws together understandings of digital literacies, maker education, and children’s agency. Maker literacies stand for children’s creative, critical, and participatory engagement in design and making activities supported by a range of technologies and media. Maker literacies position children as active, creative, and critical investigators of digital literacies for personal and social change across formal and everyday settings, online and off.

One of the criticisms posed to the incorporation of key aspects of maker literacies into education programs is that it might be based on highly individualized values that foster the production of artifacts for their own sake with little relevance to or impact on children’s lives in their communities. One way to avoid this is to ensure that children's engagement in maker literacies is relational and based upon participatory, critical, and ethical action, enabling children to engage in, learn, and make a collective change on issues that are pressing to themselves, their families, and/or their communities.

To these ends, this Special Issue welcomes articles examining topics such as the following:

  • Children’s communal action and maker literacies
  • Intergenerational dialogue and maker literacies
  • Children’s rights and voice in maker literacies
  • Maker literacies in early years curriculum and pedagogy
  • Social justice and equity in maker literacies
  • Agency and identity in maker literacies
  • Creativity and imagination in maker literacies
  • Critical making
  • Material dimensions of maker literacies
  • Epistemic dimensions of maker literacies
  • Affective dimensions of maker literacies
  • Ethical dimensions of maker literacies

Prof. Kristiina Kumpulainen
Prof. Anne Burke
Dr. Burcu Yaman Ntelioglou
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • maker literacies
  • civic engagement
  • agency and identity
  • education and pedagogy
  • makerspaces
  • early childhood education
  • primary education
  • libraries and other cultural institutions
  • homes and communities

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Young Children, Maker Literacies and Social Change
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(10), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10100265 - 27 Sep 2020
Abstract
Although making—that is, playing, experimenting, expressing, connecting, and constructing with different tools and materials towards personal and collective ends—has characterised the everyday activities of many children and adults across cultures for ages, there seems to be no doubt that novel digital technologies and [...] Read more.
Although making—that is, playing, experimenting, expressing, connecting, and constructing with different tools and materials towards personal and collective ends—has characterised the everyday activities of many children and adults across cultures for ages, there seems to be no doubt that novel digital technologies and media are transforming and re-mixing more traditional maker activities, with new opportunities for communication, collaboration, learning, and civic engagement [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young Children, Maker Literacies and Social Change)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
“Making” Waves: How Young Learners Connect to Their Natural World through Third Space
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(8), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10080203 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In a world that grows increasingly aware of ecological problems such as global warming, rising sea levels, and pollution, we need to reconsider how we connect ourselves to the natural world around us. In this paper, we view makerspaces as ideal locations to [...] Read more.
In a world that grows increasingly aware of ecological problems such as global warming, rising sea levels, and pollution, we need to reconsider how we connect ourselves to the natural world around us. In this paper, we view makerspaces as ideal locations to shape children’s emotional, sociocultural, and educational consciousnesses about the environment and our multi-layered roles undertaken to live in, and conserve, it. We apply third space, makerspace, and relational value theories in the analysis of a research project conducted with children at an early childhood centre. This project invited children to discuss ocean conservation prompted by the picturebook Flotsam (2006) and create three-dimensional exhibits that express how they visualize ocean conservation. Our research shows that children develop strong emotional connections to tangible representations of conservation when they are given the time to invest in making them, and that these emotional connections are driving forces for relational values that create conservation-oriented mindsets. It also shows how important context is for shaping the ways children learn, and that providing opportunities to examine conservation through makerspaces as a third space encourages children to create empathetic and personal relationships with the natural world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young Children, Maker Literacies and Social Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Closing the HIV and AIDS “Information Gap” Between Children and Parents: An Exploration of Makerspaces in a Ugandan Primary School
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(8), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10080193 - 23 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this study, we address the research question: “How might child-created billboards about HIV and AIDS help facilitate more open discussions between parents and children?" The premise of our study is that there may be considerable potential for using multimodal forms of representation [...] Read more.
In this study, we address the research question: “How might child-created billboards about HIV and AIDS help facilitate more open discussions between parents and children?" The premise of our study is that there may be considerable potential for using multimodal forms of representation in makerspaces with young children to create more open dialogue with parents about culturally sensitive information. Drawing on multimodal literacies and visual methodologies, we designed a makerspace in a grade 5 classroom (with students aged 9–10) in a Ugandan residential primary school. Our makerspace included soliciting students’ knowledge about HIV and AIDS as part of a class discussion focused on billboards in the local community and providing art materials for students to explore their understandings of HIV and AIDS through the creation of billboards as public service announcements. Parents were engaged in the work as audience members during a public exhibition at the school. Data sources include the billboards as artifacts, observations within the makerspace, and interviews with parents and children following the public exhibition. The findings show that, for parents and children, the billboards enhanced communication; new understandings about HIV and AIDS were gained; and real-life concerns about HIV and AIDS were made more visible. Although these more open conversations may depend to some degree on family relationships more broadly, we see great potential for makerspaces to serve as a starting point for closing the HIV and AIDS information gap between children and parents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young Children, Maker Literacies and Social Change)
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Open AccessArticle
“Keep Walls Down Instead of Up”: Interrogating Writing/Making as a Vehicle for Black Girls’ Literacies
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060159 - 11 Jun 2020
Abstract
Drawing on data generated following the 2016 United States presidential election, in this article the author considers how a classroom makerspace made Black girls’ literacies visible in new ways. During a six-week integrated humanities unit in a third-grade public school classroom in the [...] Read more.
Drawing on data generated following the 2016 United States presidential election, in this article the author considers how a classroom makerspace made Black girls’ literacies visible in new ways. During a six-week integrated humanities unit in a third-grade public school classroom in the Midwestern U.S., four Black girls used making to create a space for themselves to collaboratively make sense of contemporary (im)migration issues. In the findings, the author provides two analytic snapshots to illustrate how the girls’ making exemplified the six components of the Black Girls’ Literacies Framework—an asset-oriented framing that highlights how Black girls’ literacies are (1) multiple, (2) connected to identities that are (3) historical, (4) collaborative, (5) intellectual, and (6) political/critical (Muhammad & Haddix, 2016). In closing, the author offers provocations for educational researchers and practitioners to consider, as they facilitate school-based opportunities for Black girls’ literacies to be made visible through making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young Children, Maker Literacies and Social Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Doing Inventing in the Library. Analyzing the Narrative Framing of Making in a Public Library Context
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060158 - 10 Jun 2020
Abstract
In this article, we examine how creative making is framed in a public library setting. We pursue this topic by focusing on the trajectory of a group participating in “The Inventor Course” during a school trip to a library. Video recordings of the [...] Read more.
In this article, we examine how creative making is framed in a public library setting. We pursue this topic by focusing on the trajectory of a group participating in “The Inventor Course” during a school trip to a library. Video recordings of the maker activity comprise the primary data for analysis, supplemented by ethnographic notes. Analysis of the group’s interactions shows how different frames for inventing are acted out and intersect during the activity. We describe these frames as inventing as invention, inventing as exploration and inventing as narrative. Findings indicate that a narrative frame is a fruitful approach to making in a library setting and that narratives performed in dialogue with children help them to make sense of their explorations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young Children, Maker Literacies and Social Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Children’s Augmented Storying in, with and for Nature
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060149 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Drawing on a relational ontology and scholarship of new literacies, we investigate the materiality and performativity of children’s augmented storying in nature. Our study is situated in a Finnish primary school in which a novel, augmented reality application (MyAR Julle) was [...] Read more.
Drawing on a relational ontology and scholarship of new literacies, we investigate the materiality and performativity of children’s augmented storying in nature. Our study is situated in a Finnish primary school in which a novel, augmented reality application (MyAR Julle) was utilized as a digital storytelling tool for children (n = 62, aged 7–9), allowing them to explore, interact, and imagine in nature and to create/share their stories. The data corpus consists of their narrations of their augmented stories in nature, their augmented story artefacts, and video/observational data from their construction of such stories in nature. Narrative analysis reveals how the children’s augmented storying in nature was performed through playful, affective, and sensuous, identity, cultural, and critical literacies, which were imaginatively constructed into being at the nexus of their sensed reality and fantasy. These literacies make visible human–material–spatial–temporal assemblages during which the children played with/through the augmented character Julle, felt and sensed with/through Julle, and re-storied their experiences, cultural knowledge, and identities with/through Julle. They also engaged in critical thinking with/through Julle. The study contributes to knowledge on the meaning of materiality in children’s storying in, with, and for nature and the educational possibilities of augmented storying for children’s (eco)literacies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young Children, Maker Literacies and Social Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Making at Home: Interest-Driven Practices and Supportive Relationships in Minoritized Homes
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050143 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The maker movement advocates hands-on making with emerging technologies because of its value for promoting innovative and personally meaningful transdisciplinary learning. Educational research has focused on settings that primarily serve youth from dominant groups, yet we know surprisingly little about making among minoritized [...] Read more.
The maker movement advocates hands-on making with emerging technologies because of its value for promoting innovative and personally meaningful transdisciplinary learning. Educational research has focused on settings that primarily serve youth from dominant groups, yet we know surprisingly little about making among minoritized youth and the kinds of resources that support their making. This study sought to better understand the extent to which maker practices are present in the lives of minoritized youth and the network of resources that support their engagement. In this study, we analyzed survey responses of 52 youth from an urban, under-resourced community in Chicago and conducted an inductive thematic analysis of 20 interviews through a model of connected learning. Findings showed these youth participated in a diverse range of interest-driven, low-tech maker activities in their own homes more often than in school, after school programs, or through online resources and communities (i.e., YouTube, Internet, social media). Many youths displayed different levels of participation with intergenerational support, as parents and extended family members supported youth in their hands-on making. This work opens up pathways for fostering connected learning opportunities within minoritized communities by building on existing learning experiences within home settings and supportive relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young Children, Maker Literacies and Social Change)
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