I named this blog 'making space,' which was a rapidly-made decision that turned out to be productive. It felt like it fit at the time. But I didn't know why.
Most spaces where people make things are called "maker spaces" (or fablabs). And that says that you have an identity as a maker. I don't always feel like a maker, and maybe you don't always feel like a maker, but that doesn't stop us from making things.
And we are also making the space into something new. When giving a tour of the space the other day, someone commented on our column, which began as an eyesore—a bug—that we have now transformed into the coolest part of the space—a feature.
So it is a space for making and a space we are making. As a constructionist, (this stance is tied to why I decided to blog about all this, to position it as public), I also see it as a space for making ideas, constructs, studies, etc. Which makes me ponder, in this exploratory time, what are we making progress on?
In reflecting on this with Richard Reeve, I found something exciting in the making: We are developing a practice—not yet formalized—that could be very helpful for eliciting problem framing. One of the big challenges in studying problem framing is deciding what is sufficient evidence, in terms of whether framing is happening, what the frame is, and when it has changed.
Something I have noticed in my own exploratory work is that I began using a sort of think aloud protocol to narrate my work. In doing so, I realized I was making clear my long term problem goals (the larger problem frame), as well as the short term and emergent goals. I have been trying to turn a beater from a stand mixer into PKE meter. And I know I need to learn some programming and some electronics, both of which are (mostly) new to me.
A future PKE meter!
So this tells me I can attend to two frames at once, and I don't think we talk much about this in the study of problem framing.
But it also means we have a practice we can build into our studies, a practice we can scaffold with technology, or with instruction. It is not exactly goal-setting, though it resembles it. (And Michelle Jordan's work on managing uncertainty seems pretty relevant here). It is attending to—and giving voice to—these emergently, in conversation with materials, as reflective practice. Of course, there are many literatures to build on here: metacognition, self & co-regulation, probably others... But so much of those have focused on well-structured problem solving, that I don't know how well they fit, whole-cloth. What I am after here is enhancing peoples' capacities to take ownership of problems, to frame and reframe them, to learn with excitement, and to forge ahead in the face of uncertainty by using resources, tinkering, and generally failing a lot.
Using resources and tinkering, right before failing a lot!