Making Children’s Learning Visible Through Invention Education

Helping Students Document Their Learning with Engaging Hands-On Activities

Invention education is an engaging style of learning that invites children to solve real-world problems by creating invention prototypes. Recently, this type of education has become an increasingly popular way for educators to inspire students and help them develop crucial 21st-century skills that can benefit them throughout their lives.

At its most authentic, this pedagogy allows participants to learn from the stories and lessons of accomplished inventors and in contrast to more passive forms of learning, invention education specializes in helping students document and make their learning visible.

Highlights of this paper include:

  • An analysis of learning documentation originating from the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s “Project Zero.”
  • Highlights from recently published research exploring how invention education provides a context for students to develop a creative identity.
  • An exploration of how the National Inventors Hall of Fame® designs STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) educational programming that helps make learning visible.

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