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This paper explores teacher candidates’ understandings of 1) makerspace/constructionist pedagogies; 2) the issue of bullying; and, 3) working with at-risk youth, as they evolved over the course of a six-month partnership. The partnership included researchers and teacher candidates at a Faculty of Education and the teacher librarian at a local elementary school who were participating in a larger Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)- funded project that focuses on building, implementing and evaluating an effective model for a school improvement program that increases teachers’ capacity, experience and specific fluency and expertise with technologies supporting STEAM learning and digital literacies. In this paper, we discuss qualitative ethnographic case study research, which examines in depth the experiences of five teacher candidates as they worked with 20 students in a grade 6 class in a high needs school on makerspace activities related to bullying prevention in their school community. Qualitative research documentation includes digital video and audio recordings, on the-ground field notes and observational notes, pre and post interviews with participants and focus group sessions. Results from this study contribute new knowledge in the areas of preservice teacher development and digitally-enhanced learning environments for K-6 learners.
Hughes, J., Laffier, J., Mamolo, A., Morrison, L., & Petrarca, D. (2016), November 2-6). Full STEAM Ahead: Building Preservice Teachers’ Capacity in Makerspace Pedagogies. Paper presented at the Higher Education in Transition Symposium, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.