Summary: On June 4th I attended a day-long workshop in Berkeley called Making as Healing, hosted by Maker Ed and Agency by Design Oakland. This was a space for maker educators to practice individual and collective healing after a difficult school year. Each of the three activities that day explored how maker-centered learning can be a tool for healing, to create a culture of care for our learners and cultivate the conditions for empathy, rest, vulnerability, and joy.
Takeaways: The workshop hosts met and exceeded all expectations by creating a warm, caring community with powerful resources to bring back to school. The first healing activity was creating mindful mandalas (see photo below) in the Maker Ed Studio’s backyard. It was a silent activity and participants cooperated to build the mandala from dried flowers, seeds and leaves gathered from the yard.
The second activity was to repair a broken keepsake from home together with another teacher. This work was framed around the Cultivating a Repair Mindset Toolkit from the Agency by Design resource library. I chose to bring in an aromatherapy tower that my cousin gifted me (also photo attached). It was something that I helped me during COVID quarantining and I have since lost communication with that cousin. This activity helped me address the physical repair and the emotional repair needed to get unstuck with a tricky problem. The Culture of Repair website was discovered to be a valuable resource to explore teaching for sustainability and centering healing in our Makery curriculum.
The afternoon ended with a powerful activity I feel would be great for middle school age students. We imagined a future where making and learning was more liberating and restorative, then learned to make zines to capture these thoughts. An example of this lesson can be found in this blog post. We only had a half an hour to work in teams to create a page for our zine, and they were all unique and amazing!
Recommend this Opportunity? I was so glad to attend this workshop and I feel many of the ideas discussed will inform my curriculum planning for the Makery. One incredible resource shared was the Agency by Design Thinking Routines which are a powerful way to incorporate SEL and culturally responsive practices to making. Please reach out if you would like to discuss any of these ideas or resources!
Lower School Makery Facilitator & Technology Integration Specialist