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
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?

videosLooking Closely: A Capacity of Sensitivity to Design

Looking Closely: A Capacity of Sensitivity to Design

Students from King Middle School in Portland, Maine, explain the importance of looking closely in a maker-centered classroom.

Video by Alex Coppola

documentation and assessment toolsDocumentation Templates

Documentation Templates

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.

activities and practicesMapping Systems

Mapping Systems

The practice of mapping allows learners to build and demonstrate their understanding of the parts, people, and interactions that comprise a given system.

activities and practicesLearning Walk

Learning Walk

This practice supports co-inspiration and the cross-pollination of ideas during maker-centered group work.

Field NoteMaker – Person, Identity, or Culture?

Maker – Person, Identity, or Culture?

Agency by Design project manager Jen Ryan examines the use of the word maker and offers an alternative reframing for an emerging field.

activities and practicesMemorable Making Experience

Memorable Making Experience

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

thinking routinesPartes, Personas, Interacciones

Partes, Personas, Interacciones

Esta rutina de pensamiento ayuda a los estudiantes a ir lentamente y observar de cerca un sistema.