Motive-Demand Dynamics Creating a Social Context for Students’ Learning Experiences in a Making and Design Environment
Making and design environments, often referred to as makerspaces, have aroused recent educational interest. These environments typically consist of spaces that support interest-driven engagement in hands-on creative activities with a range of digital artefacts. Although a variety of benefits from participating in making and design activities have been proposed, we currently have limited understanding of students’ learning experiences in makerspaces situated in schools. Following Hedegaards’ conceptualisations, we investigate motive-demand dynamics in students’ social activity in a school-based digital making and design environment, ‘The FUSE Studio’. We highlight our findings via vignettes selected from 65 h of video recordings of 94 students (aged between 9 and 12 years old) carrying out activities; the recordings were collected intermittently from an elective course over one semester. Our study illustrates how the students’ learning experiences were shaped through tension-laden interplay between the motives and demands of their activity situated across personal, relational and institutional contexts. The findings make visible how established ways of working and being at school interacted and came into tension with the students’ motive orientations, thereby limiting and at times transforming the social context of their learning. Our work also demonstrates how the analysis of motive-demand dynamics offers one useful conceptual tool to unpack students’ learning experiences in novel learning environments.
KeywordsMotive Demand Tension Making and design environments Learning experiences
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