Makerspaces in Diverse Places: A Comparative Analysis of Distinctive National Discourses Surrounding the Maker Movement and Education in Four Countries

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First conceived as spaces stocked with D.I.Y. tools and materials for community members to join together in the activity of making, makerspaces have begun popping up in schools, libraries, universities and museums across the world. The maker mindset summarizes the ideology of the maker movement—a set of values predicated on making, sharing, learning and playing. Through a critical review of research and practices of makerspaces in the U.S., Singapore, China and Ghana, this paper explores the respective national discourses surrounding the maker movement and maker education. By revealing some of the ways that the values have been embraced, reinterpreted, remixed or rejected as the movement has gained global momentum, this paper intends to establish a greater appreciation for the diversity and complexity of the maker movement and maker education in the global context. Ultimately, this complex, multifaceted remixing reveals a deeper understanding of why the movement has been or may be embraced by diverse nations across the globe.