Tinkering School

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Tinkering School Is Not About Tools

Pedagogy and PhilosophySean Murray

Tinkering School is not about tools. It's about helping kids increase their confidence and abilities as problem-solvers. It's about tackling tough problems and making new friends. It's about experiences--not objects.

That said, tools are an essential part of those experiences. Kids experiences of using the tools should be as fluid and frictionless as possible. (A plugged-in chop saw with a sharp blade on a clean, clear cutting table is a tool. An unplugged chopsaw with a dull-blade stashed under a messy table is a series of Very Tedious Problems).

For a tool to add value to a kid's experience, the following must be true:

1. The kid is Aware of the tool and its relevance to the work.

2. The kid is able to Access the tool when it's needed.

3. The kid is able to Avoid the tool when it's not needed.*

All tools to be used in the program should be in a Highly-Usable state. That is, safe, at an appropriate height, and able to be used, right away, with no extra setup or cleaning. 

Respect the dynamic between tools and the space they're in. A table saw is useless in a tiny shop, a 3D printer can't do much in an open field far from wall outlets. A clean space with a few Highly-Usable tools will lead to more great experiences than a cluttered space with tons of tools that each present Very Tedious Problems

Excerpt From: Kourosh Dini. “Workflow Mastery: Building from the Basics.” iBooks.


, p.104.

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