The sociomaterial ecology of emotions in a school's makerspace

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In this chapter, we investigate the sociomaterial ecology of emotions in students’ engagement within a school’s makerspace. The notion of sociomaterial ecology accentuates the holistic view of emotions that emerges in the multifaceted relations among people, technologies and the sociocultural environment. The empirical data of our study consist of video recordings of 9–12-year-old students’ interactions in a makerspace called the FUSE Studio in a Finnish primary school. The video data were subjected to a multimodal analysis to investigate the multiple modes and embodiments through which students’ emotions were expressed, shared and negotiated in situ. Our study shows how the students’ engagement in maker activities involved multiple and – at times – tension-laden emotions ranging from excitement, joy, happiness, pride and humour to irritation, frustration and disappointment. We also show how these emotions were entangled with fellow students, teachers, the makerspace, its material artefacts and requirements, as well as the rules and practices of the school. Overall, the display of emotions was found to be strong in situations in which the students experienced challenges. However, the ways in which the students responded to and negotiated these challenges, such as ownership of emotions, gave rise to different opportunities for their engagement and learning. In all, the chapter demonstrates the integral role of emotions in students’ maker activities, pointing out the value of researching and understanding emotions from the perspective of sociomaterial ecology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMaker literacies and maker identities in the digital age : Learning and playing through modes and media
EditorsCheryl A. Mclean, Jennifer Rowsell
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-50245-4, 978-0-367-50246-1
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-04924-1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences

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