Agency by Design

Educational initiatives that emphasize making, design, engineering, and tinkering have been gaining traction in schools and organizations across the country. While maker-centered learning is not a new concept, recent and emerging trends suggest a new kind of hands-on pedagogy—a responsive and flexible pedagogy that encourages community and collaboration (a do-it-together mentality), distributed teaching and learning, and crossing boundaries.

Agency by Design (AbD) is a multiyear research initiative at Project Zero investigating the promises, practices, and pedagogies of maker-centered learning experiences.

The Framework
Resources
Field NoteHacking Simple Systems: The Tale of an Incomplete Soccer Uniform

Hacking Simple Systems: The Tale of an Incomplete Soccer Uniform

Oakland Learning Community Tatum Omari’s builds on her experience with system redesign to hack her daughter’s soccer gear.

thinking routinesReflect, Connect, Project

Reflect, Connect, Project

This thinking routine helps learners to think in the past, present, and future, viewing their making in the context of a long-term and broad trajectory of learning. It is meant to cultivate an ongoing reflective practice in the classroom.

pictures of practiceTake Apart Project

Take Apart Project

Things Come Apart, by Todd McLellan provided some inspiration for educators from Park Day School to explore the complexities of everyday objects with their second grade learners. In this picture of practice essay educator Jeanine Harmon shares the project.

Featured photo by Jaime Chao Mignano

documentation and assessment toolsAbD Framework: A Guide for Learners

AbD Framework: A Guide for Learners

A resource for learners to explore the ways you can use the Agency by Design Framework and Making Moves/Indicators.

thinking routinesPARTES, PROPÓSITOS, COMPLEXIDADES

PARTES, PROPÓSITOS, COMPLEXIDADES

Essa rotina de pensamento ajuda os estudantes a desacelerar e a fazer observações detalhadas e cuidadosas, incentivando-os a olhar além das características óbvias de um objeto ou de um sistema. 

Field NoteDesigning and Making with English Language Learners

Designing and Making with English Language Learners

Thi Bui teaches art and multimedia at Oakland International High School, a public high school for immigrants students’ where command of the English language is one of the last things to be taken for granted.

documentation and assessment toolsMaker Capacities: Observe/Reflect

Maker Capacities: Observe/Reflect

This tool is connected to the Agency by Design Making Moves. The Making Moves identifies three maker capacities that support a sensitivity to design, along with their associated learning moves. Here you’ll find three observation sheets, one for each of the maker capacities:  Looking Closely, Exploring Complexity, and Finding Opportunity.

Field NoteA Culture (and Economy) of Making and Sharing

A Culture (and Economy) of Making and Sharing

The maker movement is no doubt still trending. But what’s driving this resurgence in the inclination to make? And is it a part of a larger socio/economic shift to a shared, participatory culture?