Learning to Make in the Museum
This chapter explores making as a learning process in the context of a museum-based makerspace designed for family participation. It focuses on young children, and their adult learning partners, as an important demographic to consider and for which to design making environments and experiences. The chapter looks at the evolving role of museum educators in supporting young children's meaningful participation in making as an informal learning process. The field of informal learning research and evaluation has considered the diverse factors that are thought to influence and support family learning in designed contexts, such as museums. Dominant among these factors have been the personal, social, and physical resources that learners recruit and coordinate through their participation in a given context over time and in relation to other ecological factors. Adult-oriented makerspaces are known to function as a community of practice, as adult members purposefully identify and leverage each other's relative areas of expertise as quintessential elements of individual and community activity.