Introducing Educators to the Agency by Design Initiative

On Monday, March 11, 2013 the Agency by Design team was in Oakland, CA to lead our first-ever full-school professional development session for educators. The three-hour session was held at Park Day School and introduced approximately 40 Kindergarten – 8th grade teachers to the core tenets of our project. A variety of hands-on activities and Project Zero thinking routines had teachers looking at the intricacies of objects, situating those objects in broader systems, considering those systems through multiple user perspectives, and then brainstorming and prototyping redesign ideas for those systems. This process of developing a sensitivity to design primed educators to consider how equipping students with a deeper understanding of the design of objects, ideas, and systems may ultimately lead to an enhanced sense of agency.

The Park Day School teachers wowed us with their enthusiasm and cheerful investigation of complex ideas. A lot of great thinking emerged from the session—and we certainly learned a lot!

Park Day School teachers considered the parts, purposes, and complexities of a variety of household objects such as this extension cord, calculator, and box of tissues.

Park Day School teachers considered the parts, purposes, and complexities of a variety of household objects such as this extension cord, calculator, and box of tissues.

Park Day School Teachers carefully investigate a pair of staplers before engaging in the redesign process.

Park Day School teachers carefully investigate a pair of staplers before engaging in the redesign process.

Park Day School teachers used the the Parts/Purposes/Complexities thinking routine to better understand the intricacies of a funky bicycle helmet.

Park Day School teachers used the Parts/Purposes/Complexities thinking routine to better understand the intricacies of a funky bicycle helmet.

Park Day School teachers reconsidered the lunchbox experience and then came up with this prototype of an eco-friendly DIY lunchbox for kids.

Park Day School teachers reconsidered the lunchbox experience and then came up with this prototype of an eco-friendly DIY lunchbox for kids.

Park Day School teachers begin to consider a dinosaur-themed bicycle helmet from multiple users' perspectives.

Park Day School teachers begin to consider a dinosaur-themed bicycle helmet from multiple users’ perspectives.

Park Day School teachers take on the small task of redesigning "time."

Park Day School teachers take on the small task of redesigning “time.”

Park Day School teachers collaborate on their wind and solar powered redesign of the electrical system.

Park Day School teachers collaborate on their wind and solar powered redesign of the electrical system.

Park Day School teachers redesigned duct tape by making these quick and easy duct tape strips for kindergarteners.

Park Day School teachers redesigned duct tape by making these quick and easy duct tape strips for kindergarteners.

"Ear buds" will never be the same. Considering the system of e-waste caused by discarded electronic equipment, Park Day School teachers redesigned headphones using entirely organic materials—including a crystal powered jack.

“Ear buds” will never be the same. Considering the system of e-waste caused by discarded electronic equipment, Park Day School teachers redesigned headphones using entirely organic materials—including a crystal powered jack.

Check out our Instagram page where you can see more pictures from the Park Day School professional development session—and follow the work of the Agency by Design project through images.

Advertisements
| Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

About Edward P. Clapp

Edward is a senior research manager and a member of the core research team working on the Agency by Design initiative at Project Zero, an educational research center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). Edward’s current research interests include creativity and innovation, maker-centered education, design thinking, and contemporary approaches to arts teaching and learning. In addition to his work as an educational researcher, Edward is a lecturer on education at HGSE. Web: http://scholar.harvard.edu/edwardclapp Social: @edwardpclapp

2 thoughts on “Introducing Educators to the Agency by Design Initiative

  1. Beautiful Work! A true Inspiration to us all. Einstein, when asked how he came up with the theory of relativity stated “a normal adult never stops to think about problems of space and time. These are things which he has thought of as a child. But…I began to think about space and time only when I had already grown up.”
    Thank You for calling our attention to these essential elements of creative observation and purposeful understanding. You are empowering our children and students to take responsibility for the world they create.
    Thank You!
    Laura Jane Linck
    Palm Beach Florida

Post a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s