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New Course from ChildCare Education Institute on Fostering a Maker Mindset in Young Children

ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), an online child care training provider dedicated exclusively to the early care and education workforce, is proud to introduce CUR130: Makerspaces: Fostering a Maker Mindset in Young Children to the online child care training course catalog.

Makerspaces and the Maker Movement have been taking the education world by storm in recent years. Maker education fuses the best parts of “DIY” (do-it-yourself) projects, arts and crafts, engineering, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education to encourage children to learn valuable content and skills through hands-on creating.  Early childhood educators must understand the value of introducing making and makerspaces to their students, both short and long term. Educators should be aware of the skills and concepts (both cognitive and interpersonal) that young children gain through hands-on making projects and experiences.

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A makerspace is a place where people can gather to create, problem-solve, develop skills, and learn through hands-on building and making.  Spaces that function as a makerspace may also go by other names such as STEM Labs, Hackerspaces, Maker Studios, and more.  In makerspaces, new technologies such as 3D printing, micro-computing, robotics, and more fuse with traditional “woodshop” processes as well as arts and crafts to form a vast community of people who come together to make just about anything.

One reason that makerspaces are so difficult to define is that a makerspace can take many different forms: from an entire library transformed into an engineering space, a computer lab stocked with tangible materials, to an early learning Atelier (workshop or studio) inspired by Reggio Emilia, or even a cart stocked with tools and materials to form a “mobile makerspace.” This course takes a look at different types of makerspaces for young children for inspiration and learn ways to create our own developmentally appropriate spaces in which young children can learn, play, and grow.

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In this course, participants will learn about the growing “maker movement” and what makerspaces are. In addition, participants will examine how children are affected by their environments and explore strategies for designing developmentally appropriate makerspaces for young children (pre-kindergarten through second grade) within classrooms, libraries, or other early learning settings.

“While everyone′s experience is different, something about your favorite play experience resonated with you,” says Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI.  “It is essential to recognize that child care professionals have the power to create learning experiences that will stay with children long into adulthood and why it is so important to create meaningful spaces that promote play, learning, and exploration.”

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