Travelling with a ‘Maker’s Eye’.

imagesThere is nothing quite like travelling and learning new things. It’s also a great time to reflect. I’ve spent the last month in England and South Africa. One country extremely familiar and the other very new to me. Life is all about learning and building on past experiences to discover new exciting things. So, I had time to reflect on my passion for ‘education’ and how it needs to change to be in the present and take our students into the future.

Reading during my travels and time away from the hectic classroom led me to ponder why I ‘LOVE’ hands-on learning and the whole Maker Movement. ‘I hear and I forget’ ‘I see and I remember’ ‘I do and I understand’ ….I truly believe giving students the opportunity to explore, play and create allows them to learn.


My previous post ‘Why ‘Making’ needs to be part of the School Curriculum’ and the ideas expressed by Mark Hatch reinforces the need for having a space available to students to do their own PBL (passion based learning). Our present ‘industrial revolution’ style education needs an overhaul to be brought into the ‘information revolution’ where students can globally collaborate to learn, with teachers being facilitators and mentors. Not data driven by competition for students to succeed in a narrow ‘dated’ education system! I found this reading interesting.

Reading images‘Beautiful Failures’ by Lucy Clarke (out of interest is an old girl of St Aidan’s) addresses some very poignant facts, in particular the chapter headed ‘The East-Asian Elephant in the Room’…..are we doing for our students the best we can? I recommend reading this book.

I arrived in England to the news that the Prime Minister, Theresa May, expressed her desire for her government to bring back the 11+ exams and provide more grammar schools….shock horror on so many levels!11+

Arriving back in Australia to the news that funding to independent and private schools should be cut…..taking choice from individuals! Thank goodness the people at the coal-front know better……teachers….just wish those in beauracracy would listen.

Another person I like to follow is Sir Ken Robinson who identifies and explains so many issues in education which are not working.element(1)

Reading his book ‘The Element’ again makes me realise how we are not catering and providing for our students in the best way we can.

At St Aidan’s we are fortunate to have a very supportive principal who allows #bestteachingpartnerever Megan Daley and I to provide our girls with space and time to ‘Make’.

So, apart from getting frustrated by the happenings around the world in education, I look for ideas and ways to excite my students in our ‘Makerspace’ through tinkering, playing, creating and exploring whilst travelling.

A wonderful example of this is in South Africa where sustainability is foremost in creating artefacts and toys using tin cans, bottle tops and old magazines…….so creative!

african toyjpgtoycar






The ‘Maker Movement’ has of course taken off commercially too, there are now many pre-packed STEM ‘making’ kits to be purchased, which are fine as spring boards to get children using their hands to learn but allow them the opportunity to go further and create ‘add-ons’ like circuitry with LED’s to illuminate at night by fitting sensors!!

Couldn’t resist buying a few for our space and as ideas for activities.


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Jackie Child
Jackie Child has been teaching primary aged students for 40 years in a number of countries. She is passionate about how children learn through constructivist pedagogy. She is a Teacher Librarian at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School and a sessional tutor at Griffith University for pre-service teachers. Jackie doesn’t believe in standing still, there is always plenty to ‘do’ and learn!