University of Oulu

Leskinen J, Kajamaa A and Kumpulainen K (2023) Learning to innovate: Students and teachers constructing collective innovation practices in a primary school’s makerspace. Front. Educ. 7:936724. doi: 10.3389/feduc.2022.936724

Learning to innovate : students and teachers constructing collective innovation practices in a primary school’s makerspace

Saved in:
Author: Leskinen, Jasmiina1; Kajamaa, Anu2; Kumpulainen, Kristiina1,3
Organizations: 1Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
2Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Frontiers Media, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-01-12


The need to foster citizens’ innovation skills is widely recognized. Although current research acknowledges the potential of makerspaces to promote innovation activities, research still lacks an understanding of underlying mechanisms that can lead the creation of innovations in makerspaces by students. Moreover, research to date has overlooked how innovation practices are formed in K–12 makerspaces. In this sociocultural study, we used ethnographic video data from a Finnish primary school’s makerspace and applied methods of abductive Video Data Analysis to investigate how innovation practices are constructed in first to sixth grade students’ and teachers’ interactions. The results of this study show that the innovations created by the students in the makerspace were an outcome of students’ and teachers’ collective innovation practices. The study provides a typology of these collective innovation practices, namely: taking joint action to innovate, navigating a network of resources, and sustaining innovation activities. Further, our results reveal that the collective actions encouraged students to use skills deemed to be important for innovation creation. Also, adding to existing research knowledge, our results reveal two mechanisms that potentially promote students’ learning to innovate. These mechanisms include the teachers’ orientation to facilitating open-ended STEAM projects and practices that emphasize students’ ownership over their personal projects.

see all

Series: Frontiers in education
ISSN: 2504-284X
ISSN-E: 2504-284X
ISSN-L: 2504-284X
Volume: 7
Article number: 936724
DOI: 10.3389/feduc.2022.936724
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: The research reported in this chapter was funded by the Academy of Finland Learning by Making: The educational potential of school-based makerspaces for young learners’ digital competencies (iMake) project during the period of 2017–2020 (no: 310790); PI KK. In addition, the research work of JL was funded by the SEDUCE Doctoral Program, University of Helsinki, Finland. The University of Helsinki also contributes to publishing in open access journals.
Copyright information: © 2023 Leskinen, Kajamaa and Kumpulainen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.