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
videosLooking Closely: A Capacity of Sensitivity to Design

Looking Closely: A Capacity of Sensitivity to Design

Students from King Middle School in Portland, Maine, explain the importance of looking closely in a maker-centered classroom.

Video by Alex Coppola

documentation and assessment toolsTell Me More!

Tell Me More!

These conversation-starters help learners become sensitive to the presence of the Making Moves in their own and others’ learning. They also help learners have substantive conversations about the Making Moves with their peers.

thinking routines“深入拆解”的思考模式 (简体版)

“深入拆解”的思考模式 (简体版)

这个思考模式通过让学生慢慢、细心地观察物件和系统中的细节,鼓励他们不止观察物件的表面特征,更重要的是了解其内部运作。

documentation and assessment toolsAbD Framework + Moves Handout

AbD Framework + Moves Handout

An easy reference handout of the Agency by Design Framework for Maker-Centered Learning.

thinking routines“深入拆解” 的思考模式

“深入拆解” 的思考模式

這個思考模式通過讓學生慢慢、細心地觀察物件和系統中的細節,鼓勵他們不止觀察物件的表面特徵,更重要的是了解其內部運作。這個思考模式可以激發學生的好奇心,鼓勵他們勇於提出問題,並且能做更深入的研究。

activities and practicesTake Apart

Take Apart

Mechanical dissections are a practice that allows learners to discover the often hidden design of objects.

publicationsComplicating STEAM: A Critical Look at the Arts in the STEAM Agenda

Complicating STEAM: A Critical Look at the Arts in the STEAM Agenda

This entry offers a critical perspective of the role of the arts within the popular STEAM agenda. Most loosely defined, STEAM can be understood as incorporating the arts into the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) acronym for the purpose of introducing a focus on art and design into these four subject areas. This entry first questions what the A in the STEAM acronym actually represents. The entry then argues that a focus on any discrete set of disciplines prioritizes some domains of practice, while overlooking others. The entry goes on to encourage a more distributed approach to pedagogical practice that is less about establishing catchy acronyms that privilege some disciplines over others – and more about supporting young people and adults in becoming multimodal learners capable of making connections between and beyond the disciplines.

Field NoteFrom Maker Space to Maker Campus

From Maker Space to Maker Campus

Boston-based architect David Stephen discusses his experiences developing “Maker Campus Master Plans” with various members of Agency by Design’s Oakland Learning Community.