If you build it..

We’re asked to make something inspired by our inquiry questions this semester then blog about the implications and experience considering this week’s focus of Production Centered Learning.  Ironically, I have chosen to share with you what my colleagues and I on the MaST community charter school board (https://mastccs.org/about/board-of-trustees/members/) have collectively strategized, campaigned and fundraised for; to facilitate the “maker movement” at the school.   Opposed to “making something” this Sunday evening I decided to customize this assignment to fit my current role in higher education and Vice President of MaST II Board of Trustees.  This way the assignment is more relevant and connected to my endeavors in education, which is to be an advocate, to promote and facilitate progressive change and improvement in education while seeking equity. 

Currently my son attends MaST Community Charter school (Math and Science Technology Charter school) which has an outstanding reputation for innovation and distinguished achievement  (https://mastccs.org/about/points-of-pride/). They were one of the first schools in the Philadelphia area to embrace the “maker movement” and Production Centered Learning is a key component to their academic accomplishments. Currently both MaST I and MaST II have grade appropriate “maker spaces” for grades K-5 https://mastccs.org/post/build-it-center/    and 9th-12th  https://mastccs.org/post/makerspace-on-fox29/.  The goal with these spaces is to teach students to develop original ideas then be able to articulate and present them.  Without going into great detail in my opinion MaST embodies what Production Centered Learning is and its potential.  It is also important to mention that although the students that attend MaST are very fortunate, admission is strictly lottery based which means that students from all areas in Philadelphia have a chance of being admitted.  This may not be the ideal system for equity, but at least it is not a select group of privileged students that only get to attend. I am proud to be a part of such an innovative movement and perhaps most importantly I found a way to make my diplomatic talents work for my goals in education. My ultimate implications for connected learning and equity is to help recreate this system for students in the Philadelphia area so that everyone has a chance to benefit.

 

-Tosch

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