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 routinesParts, Purposes, Complexities

Parts, Purposes, Complexities

This thinking routine helps learners slow down and make careful, detailed observations by encouraging them to look beyond the obvious features of an object or system. This thinking routine helps stimulate curiosity, raises questions, and surfaces areas for further inquiry.

Field NoteA TEDx Talk about the Maker Mind: Why Having a Sensitivity to Design Matters

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.

activities and practicesMemorable Making Experience

Memorable Making Experience

A conversation starter and reflective activity for introducing young people and adults to making.

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 routinesIMAGINE SE…

IMAGINE SE…

Inicialmente, essa rotina estimula o pensamento divergente, à medida que os estudantes pensam em novas possibilidades para um objeto ou um sistema; depois, o pensamento convergente é encorajado, à medida que os estudantes decidem a maneira mais eficaz de construir, explorar, re/desenhar ou hackear esse objeto ou esse sistema.

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.

Field NoteTinkering Towards a Definition of Tinkering

Tinkering Towards a Definition of Tinkering

How do you define tinkering? In this post, Agency by Design principal investigator Shari Tishman tinkers towards a definition of tinkering that considers standard text book definitions, examples from real life tinkerers, and a consideration of the “symptoms” of tinkering.

activities and practicesVoz y Decisión

Voz y Decisión