Agency by Design:
Building Sensitivity to Design through Maker-Centered Learning
May 6, 2017
In the featured workshop, participants discovered how maker-centered learning can be accessible to all learners with researcher and author from Harvard's Project Zero, Jessica Ross. They learned thinking routines to develop the capacities of looking closely, exploring complexity, and finding opportunity. Through directly experiencing these routines, making connections to their own work, and looking at examples of these ideas in action, educators saw how fostering maker dispositions can develop a sensitivity to design and result in maker empowerment and student agency. These strategies were developed through the action research strand of the Agency by Design project and recently published in the book Maker-Centered Learning: Empowering Young People to Shape Their Worlds.
In all the breakout sessions, the big ideas of the day were unpacked and explored in ways that made connections to the worlds of the participants.
FEATURED PRESENTER: Jessica Ross
Jessica Ross is the Project Manager for the research project Agency by Design (AbD), which examines the promises, practices and pedagogies of maker-centered learning. AbD is a multiyear research initiative at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was also the Education Coordinator of the Project Zero Classroom Institute and a teaching fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Framing Question: What does it take to develop deep thinking capacities through maker-centered learning, such that students have agency in their worlds?
Dive in - Close Looking Opportunity
Participants look closely at an object, sketching several iterations and making observations, using the thinking routine: Parts, Purposes, Complexities.
Design Challenge: Materials Exploration
Using paper, foil and masking tape, participants have 5 minutes to create something. Anything. Yes, that's right, you only need 5 minutes and very little material to bring this into your classroom!