Identity development in school makerspaces: intentional design

  • Wendy FassoEmail author
  • Bruce Allen Knight


Makerspaces are increasingly popular in K-12 schools, particularly when associated with STEM learning. Many schools are successfully entering the makerspace arena. Others face significant barriers in ideating their design, often resorting to tinkering, or the purchase of commercial kits as resources. At the heart of a makerspace is its intent, as well as anticipated learning outcomes. This paper proposes design as being the process-base of a makerspace, and the transformation of learner identity as being its core learning outcome. The literature is drawn together to present an overview of identity as it relates to learning. It draws on the Funds of Knowledge and Funds of Identity approaches to outline how makerspaces are able to operate as third spaces, drawing together experiences in both formal and informal education. The paper then presents a makerspace design approach that draws together three identity resources, namely material, relational and ideational. Literature on equity-oriented makerspace design and facilitation is drawn upon to describe makerspace design features organised by each type of identity resource. This design can initiate the conversation of educational makerspace designers that supports focused questions about the potential purpose, resourcing, structure and facilitation of school makerspaces.


Makerspace Design technology Identity STEM 



This research was supported by a Queensland Government Department of Education: Education Horizon Research Grant.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

Research ethics approval has been granted for this research by CQUniversity and the Queensland Department of Education.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Central Queensland UniversityBundabergAustralia
  2. 2.Central Queensland UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

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