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
thinking routinesThe MCL Hacker Helper

The MCL Hacker Helper

Just as the broader Agency by Design framework for maker-centered learning encourages people to be active creators of the designed world, the Hacker Helper Tool invites educators to view the breadth of educator resources associated with the Agency by Design framework as malleable. This tool provides prompts to support educators as they “hack” existing Agency by Design tools, practices, and thinking routines to work better for their learners.

pictures of practiceMaker Empowerment and Resourcefulness

Maker Empowerment and Resourcefulness

A practice that promotes the capacity of looking closely is the Elaboration Game. This picture of practice essay shares a version that was adapted by educator Tatum Omari for a group of young learners to examine a tortilla press during their unit of study about bread making.

videosAgency by Design: Empowering Young People to Shape their Worlds

Agency by Design: Empowering Young People to Shape their Worlds

"Agency by Design: Empowering Young People to Shape their Worlds" explores the ways in which educators can develop teaching strategies that support student agency through maker-centered learning experiences.

Video by Alex Coppola

thinking routinesParts, Perspectives, Me

Parts, Perspectives, Me

This routine helps students explore complexity by encouraging them to look closely at the details of something, considering its various viewpoints, users, and stakeholders, and reflecting on their own connections and involvement with it.

Field NoteMaking Circuits Work: A Learning Journey

Making Circuits Work: A Learning Journey

Agency by Design researcher Jessica Ross explores circuitry by engaging in a hands-on journey to build a flashing LED light from scratch.

thinking routinesImagine if...

Imagine if...

This routine first encourages divergent thinking, as learners think of new possibilities for an object or system, and then encourages convergent thinking, as learners decide upon an effective approach to build, tinker, re/design, or hack an object or a system.

thinking routinesThink, Feel, Care

Think, Feel, Care

This routine encourages learners to consider the different and diverse perspectives held by the various people who interact within a particular system.

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。