When I was a science teacher, ‘teaching to the middle’ was a necessary evil. Most students kept up, some needed a challenge, and others needed more time. There wasn’t enough time: there were too many standards left to teach. A countdown would arrive in my inbox weekly to make sure I didn’t forget. The best that I could do was quickly teach to the middle.
Maker education doesn’t need to compromise like this. Projects can be easily modified.
“I thought this was going to be so hard and take weeks!” from a student with a modified project. Students with special needs love that they can fully engage with the class and show their strengths.
For the students who are rarely challenged, the same project can bring extra challenges. A quick comment can be all that it takes. A highly capable student will dive headfirst into a project that will be very challenging. These students love to add complex features to simple projects. They love the challenge.
Maker education was hot starting about 8 years ago but that fizzled out quickly. Maybe we should give it another shot.