Mainstreaming Making: Helping Teachers and Administrators Embrace Making

EdSurge Research offers a practical toolkit for non-classroom educators who want to build support for making practices, concepts and activities in their school.

Download Toolkit

Mainstreaming Making: 
Helping Teachers and Administrators Embrace Making


We’ve heard a lot about the maker movement and the power of making to transform learning and empower students. But the reality is that only some K-12 educators are a part of that movement. That’s what we heard again and again over the course of a five month research project to understand how educators are incorporating making concepts and activities into their practice.

Take the librarian who wants to collaborate with a classroom teacher on a making project. The teacher responds that he can’t justify spending time on an “enrichment” activity that won’t help his students make progress on topics covered by academic standards.

Or consider the instructional coach who asks an administrator to approve a presentation about making during a faculty meeting. The administrator apologizes but says that she needs to use that time slot to review test scores with teachers.

It can be a pretty lonely road for educators who are committed to incorporating making into their own educational practice and who want to establish making as core to the culture of their schools.

The Toolkit

EdSurge Research developed a practical toolkit for educators struggling with this common problem. Intended for instructional coaches, makerspace leads, librarians, media specialists, tech coordinators and other non-classroom educators, the toolkit offers opportunities to reflect and develop an action plan for reaching the following stakeholders around making:

  • administrators excited about making
  • administrators skeptical about making
  • classroom teachers excited about making
  • classroom teachers skeptical about making
Download the Toolkit

About the Project


This EdSurge Research project is made publicly available with support from Autodesk Education. EdSurge retains sole editorial control and responsibility for all content.


Between August 2019 and December 2020, EdSurge conducted research to better understand how K-12 educators were incorporating making concepts, activities and approaches into their work. Our research also surfaced key challenges and opportunities for educators engaged in making. This toolkit reflects key findings across three discrete research activities:

  • a review of scholarly research on making practices in K-12 education
  • a survey of 50 K-12 educators who are currently engaged in making
  • four virtual and one in-person focus groups with a combined total of 46 K-12 educators who are currently engaged in making in a variety of roles, locations and school settings

We used the literature review and survey data to both inform the parameters for focus group attendees and the questions that we asked in focus groups. We analyzed the needs, goals and approaches of focus group participants to develop a toolkit that would be useful to the greatest number of educators.

This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

Learn more about EdSurge operations, ethics and policies here. Learn more about EdSurge supporters here.
Get our email newsletterSign me up
Keep up to date with our email newsletterSign me up