Invitation to a LECI expert group research seminar (19th of September)

Professor Anne Burke (Memorial University, Canada) will give a talk on Wednesday 19th of September, from 15:00 to 17:00, at Siltavuorenpenger 5A. The title of her talk is: Tinkering for Sustainability: Young Children’s Explorations in Maker Literacies

Warm welcome to the next Learning, Culture and Interventions (LECI) expert group research seminar.

Professor Anne Burke (Memorial University Canada) gives a talk on Wednesday 19th of September, from 15:00 to 17:00, at Siltavuorenpenger 5A, (Minerva building, room K108).

The title of the talk is: Tinkering for Sustainability: Young Children’s Explorations in Maker Literacies


This paper recounts a study focused on maker literacies designed through socially imaginative makerspace learning opportunities in a Canadian Early Learning Classroom. Young children ages 4-8 explored how creative sustainability play-based approaches, drawing from engineering, ecology, maker literacies and entrepreneurship, could develop collaborative solutions for open ended environmental problems. This project looked at new knowledge and systems around sustainability through the eyes of children within Simon Nicholson’s theoretical framework of ‘Loose Parts’ with environmental children’s literature, makerspace tools, and environmental ethics to help children address global warming and the conservation of global oceans and animals. The study spanned a two-year period, engaging the digital literacies of young children. Pre-service teachers played a pivotal role in this project, playmaking with young children through a hands-on investigation in sustainability and global citizenship. Preservice teacher responses to the project showed how they realized that creativity of children can be idealized through materiality, and regenerated into a digital multimodal creation when time and space was given for tinkering. The project encouraged the flourishing of a literacy of possibilities for student teachers and observed play-based civic engagement and agency. Importantly, this study realizes an opportunity for additional study, as sociocultural  frameworks around maker literacies and creativity in community spaces can be shared to extend learning beyond the classroom setting.

Bio for Anne Burke: 

Anne Burke  is a Professor in Literacy Education and Early Learning at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She researches and writes about children’s literacy engagements through the evolving role of technology, digital and immersive worlds, multimodality, materiality, and play-based classroom pedagogies. Her current research investigates the role of maker spaces in early learning and the possibilities they offer for civic engagements, as well asforms and cultural representations of how making may be conceptualized through STEM and artistic approaches.Book titles include Invitations for Play: Using Play to Build Literacy Skills in Young Learners(Pembroke Stenhouse US 2019) Challenges Stories: Teachers working for Social Justice in Canadian Classrooms (Canadian Scholar’s Press, 2017)Children’s Play Worlds: Culture, Learning and Participation with Jackie Marsh (Peter Lang New York)Play to Learn (Pembroke Stenhouse US), Assessing New Literacies: Perspectives from the Classroomwith Roberta Hammett (Peter Lang New York)

Everyone interested is very welcome to join the seminar!