In this essay, Shirin Vossoughi, Paula Hooper, and Meg Escudé advance a critique of branded, culturally normative definitions of making and caution against their uncritical adoption into the educational sphere. The authors argue that the ways making and equity are conceptualized can either restrict or expand the possibility that the growing maker movement will contribute to intellectually generative and liberatory educational experiences for working-class students and students of color. After reviewing various perspectives on making as educative practice, they present a framework that treats the following principles as starting points for equity-oriented research and design: critical analyses of educational injustice; historicized approaches to making as cross-cultural activity; explicit attention to pedagogical philosophies and practices; and ongoing inquiry into the sociopolitical values and purposes of making. These principles are grounded in their own research and teaching in the Tinkering Afterschool Program as well as in the insights and questions raised by critical voices both inside and outside the maker movement.
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