Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services


Teacher Education and Teacher Development

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Reva Jaffe-Walter

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Michele Knobel

Committee Member

Emily Hodge

Committee Member

Douglas Larkin


Although there has been an abundance of empirical inquiry into making in recent years, interestingly, and despite growing interest in the integration of making into N-12 education, little seems to be known empirically about the ways in which teachers are implementing making and creating makerspaces in their own classrooms. Very little direct attention has been paid to ‘pioneer’ N-12 teachers who are engaging students in making. This gap in the research obscures our understanding of how teachers think about making, how they practice as teachers and makers, and how their school context might influence their teaching and making practices. This multiple-case study asked: In what ways do three K-8 teachers appear to be conceptualizing and implementing making with students? In sum, the three teachers in this study encountered numerous tensions while navigating the contexts of their school, N-12 education, and the Maker Movement as they implemented making in their classrooms. They practiced with a strong sense of agency despite the fact that so many constraints were imposed upon them by more powerful authorities, such as standards-based school reform measures and formal school structures. This in-depth case study contributes new insights into ways in which teachers make decisions about implementing making as a part of their teaching practice and ways in which teachers make use of their agency within the current accountability climate.

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