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
activities and practicesPeople, Systems, Power, Participation

People, Systems, Power, Participation

A protocol for looking critically at content and developing a sensitivity to the role(s) of power and participation in the design of objects and systems.

activities and practicesDesign Hunt

Design Hunt

This practice first encourages learners to observe the world around them and look for design, “in the wild,” taking a broad inventory of the designs they notice. Then it asks them to focus in on one object or system to consider the designer’s perspective or to propose redesign ideas.

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

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.

thinking routines“聯系互動” 的思考模式

“聯系互動” 的思考模式

這個思考模式鼓勵學生能夠慢下来,仔细觀察其中一個系统。通過這樣幫助學生更好地認識具體系統裡無論是直接或間接相關的人物,學生也會注意到系统裡任何一點變化,也許都會有意無意地影響到系统的其它方面。

activities and practicesVoz y Decisión

Voz y Decisión

thinking routines “推进创新” 的思考模式 (简体版)

“推进创新” 的思考模式 (简体版)

这个思考模式鼓励学生多方面思考,为一件物品/系统思考各种新的可能性。然后再鼓励学生把新想法融合起来,决定一个有效率的方法去完善,从新设计,和拆解物件/系统。

pictures of practiceT-Stool Project

T-Stool Project

In this picture of practice essay, educators Ilya Pratt and Jeanine Harmon share a community “Design + Build” project. Fourth and fifth grade students from North Oakland Charter School and Park Day School find an opportunity to work together to build T-Stools for classrooms.