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.
A TEDx Talk about the Maker Mind: Why Having a Sensitivity to Design Matters
Agency by Design project manager Jen Ryan describes her experience discussing the “maker mind” at TEDxDirigo.
Identifying What Matters
In this essay, leaders of the Agency by Design Pittsburgh network Peter Wardrip, Jeffrey Evancho, and Annie McNamarra describe their process of pursuing documentation and assessment strategies for maker-centered learning that are based on the values educators bring to their work in schools and other settings. Using the metaphor of big rocks and little rocks as introduced by Steven Covey, the authors describe the process of identifying one’s values and documenting and assessing student learning from the perspective of one’s values. They then articulate the lessons they have learned and their suggestions for moving forward. The core findings that emerge from this work are: (a) identifying one’s values is challenging, (b) documentation requires practice, (c) one’s values are linked to one’s content, and (d) visibility supports measurement.
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.
Hacking Simple Systems: The Tale of an Incomplete Soccer Uniform
Oakland Learning Community Tatum Omari’s builds on her experience with system redesign to hack her daughter’s soccer gear.
Maker Empowerment in the Making!
Oakland Learning Community member Ilya Pratt describes her experiences working with the concept of “Maker Empowerment” at a recent Agency by Design workshop in Oakland, CA.
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.