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 routinesPensar, Sentir, Preocuparse

Pensar, Sentir, Preocuparse

Esta rutina anima a los estudiantes a considerar las diferentes perspectivas de diversas personas que interactúan dentro de un sistema en particular.

pictures of practiceCollaborative Partnerships Through Systems Thinking

Collaborative Partnerships Through Systems Thinking

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

activities and practicesThe Elaboration Game

The Elaboration Game

This practice is designed to deepen learners’ sensitivity to design through drawing, observing, questioning, and collaborating. 

documentation and assessment toolsAbD Framework: A Guide for Educators

AbD Framework: A Guide for Educators

A resource for educators to explore the ways you can use the Agency by Design Framework and Making Moves/Indicators.

thinking routinesParts, Perspectives, Me

Parts, Perspectives, Me

This routine helps students explore complexity by encouraging them to look closely at the details of something, considering its various viewpoints, users, and stakeholders, and reflecting on their own connections and involvement with it.

Field NoteMaker Empowerment: A Concept Under Construction

Maker Empowerment: A Concept Under Construction

Agency by Designer project Director Shari Tishman introduces the concept of “maker empowerment” as a potential outcome of maker learning experiences.

activities and practicesObservational Drawing

Observational Drawing

This practice allows learners to notice features of an object that they may not have the vocabulary to fully describe yet. By doing several sketches, learners have the chance to engage in perspective taking and to see details they might miss at first glance.

activities and practicesCritical Sensitivity to Design Questions

Critical Sensitivity to Design Questions

A set of questions for students and educators that support critical inquiry and awareness when approaching human-designed objects and systems.