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 routinesThink, Feel, Care - Adapted for Early Childhood Education

Think, Feel, Care - Adapted for Early Childhood Education

This routine encourages students to consider the diverse perspectives that different people within a particular system may have based on their role in the system. This routine fosters perspective taking and can help children generate new questions and/or ideas about the system, how it works, and how it might be improved.

activities and practicesVoice and Choice: Learner Workbook

Voice and Choice: Learner Workbook

This Learn Workbook supports engagement with the Voice and Choice protocol. Created by Julie Rains.

Field NoteCuriosities, Collections, and Curating: Considering Maker Portfolios

Curiosities, Collections, and Curating: Considering Maker Portfolios

AbD researcher Jessica Ross elaborates on her role in the Open Portfolio Project by asking the question: What advice can we offer young makers as they document their making throughout their lifetimes?

videosThe Maker Mind: Jen Ryan at TEDxDirigo

The Maker Mind: Jen Ryan at TEDxDirigo

Agency by Design researcher Jen Ryan explores some of the central ideas from the framework at TEDxDirigo Generate.

videosExploring Complexity: A Capacity of Sensitivity to Design

Exploring Complexity: A Capacity of Sensitivity to Design

Educator Gus Goodwin shares how his students engage with the Agency by Design capacities during a design and engineering challenge, specifically highlighting the capacity Exploring Complexity.

Video by Alex Coppola

Featured photo by Jaime Chao Mignano

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.

pictures of practiceCollaborative Partnerships Through Systems Thinking

Collaborative Partnerships Through Systems Thinking

Educator Tatum Omari examines the system of educator collaborations and partnerships.

Field NoteExploring Complexity in Qualitative Research: Designing a System for Collaborative Analysis

Exploring Complexity in Qualitative Research: Designing a System for Collaborative Analysis

Agency by Design research assistant Sarah May explores the complex nature of working with qualitative data based on her experiences collaboratively coding and analyzing AbD’s interview transcripts.