NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1154045
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0267-1522
Making the Best of It? Exploring the Realities of 3D Printing in School
Nemorin, Selena; Selwyn, Neil
Research Papers in Education, v32 n5 p578-595 2017
Digital fabrication and "3D Making" are prominent recent additions to school curricula, hastened by the increased affordability of Computer Assisted Design software and devices such as 3D printers. It is increasingly argued that classroom use of these technologies can re-orientate schools towards forms of skills and knowledge appropriate for contemporary industry, STEM education and "Maker culture". Amidst such rhetoric, questions are raised about how these technologies are being used in schools, and the extent to which this represents "new" and/or "innovative" forms of education. This paper presents an ethnographic investigation of a 3D printing course enacted in an Australian high school. These curricular activities are considered from three different perspectives: (i) the artefacts and devices involved in the project; (ii) the surrounding social and educational contexts; and (iii) the activities and practices implicit in the implementation of the project. These different levels of analysis highlight the complexities of technology-based schooling--not least the ways in which possible technical and/or pedagogical "innovations" associated with 3D printing are shaped by the situational constraints of school contexts. The paper concludes by considering the likely future(s) of 3D printing and other forms of digital fabrication within the institutional confines of school.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A