Makerspaces and maker education are widely seen as means to democratize science and engineering education. A small but growing body of scholarly work warns against this assumption and calls for an explicit focus on equity in makerspaces both online and in person. With an understanding of learning as a social and cultural process, this paper proposes that disrupting the cycle of racial and cultural inequity in science education requires makerspace educators and staff to ground their work in multicultural theories and practices. In particular, culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP) provides guidance for infusing science and engineering with equity approaches in order to cultivate both academic success and students’ cultural identities. Recognizing the online world as a driving force of the maker movement, this paper reports the findings from a content analysis of twelve makerspace websites to determine the extent to which they address CRP in their guidance for the development and facilitation of makerspaces. Results indicate a low occurrence of the tenets of CRP and that guidance was not informed by existing literature in multicultural maker education. Recommendations include application of the framework of CRP in makerspaces and addressing both practical guidance for educators as well as recommendations for advancing scholarly dialogue regarding diversity, access, and equity in maker education.
Who Is Welcome Here? A Culturally Responsive Content Analysis of Makerspace Websites.
Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), 10(2), Article 1.