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Harvard Graduate School of Education

Thinking and Learning in the Maker-Centered Classroom (TLMCC)

Sep 16—Dec 15
USD 525

How it works


Discover how maker-centered learning prepares students of all ages to thrive in a complex world.


Over the past decade, maker-centered learning has become increasingly popular, providing students and their teachers with new opportunities to build, hack, redesign, and tinker with a variety of materials in a variety of ways. Maker-centered learning offers opportunities to learn about new tools and technologies, but more than that, it fosters important thinking skills—such as adaptability, collaborative thinking, risk-taking, and multiple-perspective taking—that are critical to thriving in a complex world.

Drawing on research from Project Zero’s Agency by Design (AbD) project, Thinking and Learning in the Maker-Centered Classroom offers classroom teachers, maker educators, administrators, and parents an opportunity to explore maker-centered learning practices and the opportunities they afford. Through hands-on, collaborative activities, participants will discover tools to support maker-centered learning in their settings while examining the benefits to both young people and facilitators.

Course Details

The online course, developed by Project Zero’s Jennifer Ryan & Edward Clapp, begins with a one-week orientation, during which you will explore the online platform and get to know fellow members of the learning community. Six two-week content sessions follow, with an average time commitment of about 3-4 hours per week. In each session you will:

  • Learn new ideas
  • Review and reflect on key ideas from the previous session
  • Plan for trying and/or fully implementing course ideas in the classroom
  • Work on a project or curriculum unit
  • Reflect and share feedback with a coach and peers

Enrollment is by team, which promotes a deeper and richer learning experience and will help you sustain your use of core ideas after the course concludes. Team members will collaborate on most of the assignments, including the development of a project. Teams meet face-to-face every two weeks.

Although the sessions are structured and coach-facilitated, all the online interactions in the course are asynchronous. You and your team can decide when to work on the course materials as long as you submit the assignment(s) on or before the due dates.

This online course is not linked to a degree program. Academic credit is not available. You will be eligible for a digital certificate representing 45 professional development hours upon successful completion.


  • Develop an understanding of the concept of maker-centered learning, its contemporary origins, and its implications for education
  • Become familiar with an instructional framework that supports maker-centered learning
  • Learn to thoughtfully develop maker-centered learning experiences to meet the goals of your learning environment

Who should attend

This course requires enrollment by teams of 3-6 people. Teams need to be able to meet locally, in person, at least once every two weeks. Teams can be comprised of:

  • Educators, administrators, and curriculum designers who want to explore maker-centered learning experiences in formal and informal learning environments (course content is equally applicable to those working with elementary school, secondary school, higher education, and adult learners)
  • Out of school educators and museum educators
  • Participants with a working knowledge of maker-centered learning and those who are new to the concepts of making and design in the educational sphere


Daniel Wilson is the Director of Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), where he is also a Principal Investigator, a Lecturer at the HGSE, Faculty on the Doctorate for Educational Leadership at HGSE, and the Educational Chair at Harvard’s “Learning Environments for Tomor...
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