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
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.

documentation and assessment toolsInquiry Cycle Tool

Inquiry Cycle Tool

The Inquiry Cycle is a tool to support teacher and student learning—and to make that learning visible—all the while exploring the capacities associated with the Agency by Design framework for maker-centered learning.

thinking routinesParts, People, Interactions - Adapted for Early Childhood Education

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.

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 routinesPENSE, SINTA, SE IMPORTE

PENSE, SINTA, SE IMPORTE

Essa rotina encoraja os estudantes a considerarem as diversas perspectivas de quem interage em um sistema particular. O objetivo dessa rotina é ajudar os estudantes a entender no que as diversas pessoas que participam de um sistema pensam, o que sentem e com o que se importam de uma forma particular em função de sua posição no sistema.

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。

publicationsMaker-Centered Learning: Empowering Young People to Shape Their Worlds

Maker-Centered Learning: Empowering Young People to Shape Their Worlds

The Agency by Design guide to implementing maker-centered teaching and learning

Maker-Centered Learning provides both a theoretical framework and practical resources for the educators, curriculum developers, librarians, administrators, and parents navigating this burgeoning field. Written by the expert team from the Agency by Design initiative at Harvard's Project Zero, this book

  • Identifies a set of educational practices and ideas that define maker-centered learning, and introduces the focal concepts of maker empowerment and sensitivity to design.
  • Shares cutting edge research that provides evidence of the benefits of maker-centered learning for students and education as a whole.
  • Presents a clear Project Zero-based framework for maker-centered teaching and learning
  • Includes valuable educator resources that can be applied in a variety of design and maker-centered learning environments
  • Describes unique thinking routines that foster the primary maker capacities of looking closely, exploring complexity, and finding opportunity.

A surge of voices from government, industry, and education have argued that, in order to equip the next generation for life and work in the decades ahead, it is vital to support maker-centered learning in various educational environments. Maker-Centered Learning provides insight into what that means, and offers tools and knowledge that can be applied anywhere that learning takes place.

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.