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.
Framing a Value-based Approach to Documentation and Assessment for Maker-Centered Learning
Synthesizing recent conversations between AbD and the Oakland Leadership Team, AbD researcher Andrea Sachdeva proposes a values-based stance on documentation and assessment in maker-centered learning.
The Inquiry Cycle in Action
The Agency by Design Inquiry Cycle has been designed to support educators in the processes of designing, documenting, assessing, and reflecting on maker-centered learning. This tool was collaboratively developed over time, and formally prototyped with cohorts of maker educators in two locations: Oakland, California, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In this paper, Agency by Design researchers Jessica Ross and Edward P. Clapp loosely use the structure of the Inquiry Cycle to describe the iterative process of developing this tool, along with some suggested implications for practice. Throughout the piece, we share the experiences of our teacher partners as they grappled with this tool—tweaking, hacking, and remixing it—as they explored its potential for designing, documenting, assessing, and reflecting upon their work in the maker-centered classroom.
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.
Developing a Sensitivity to the Design of Teacher Learning Communities
A community of teachers and researchers work together in Cambridge, MA and Temescal, CA to learn more about how students understand design in the world.
Parts, People, Interactions - Adapted for Early Childhood Education
This routine encourages learners to slow down and look closely at a system. It helps them notice that there are different people who participate in the system and that they participate in different ways. It also encourages students to explore how one change in a system can impact the rest of the system. This thinking routine can help foster curiosity as children notice details, ask questions, make connections, and identify topics for future inquiry. It also helps children practice systems thinking.