Welcoming the New Oakland Learning Community

The 2013-2014 Oakland Learning Community

The 2013-2014 Oakland Learning Community.

As we enter year two of empirical research, the Agency by Design team is excited to announce that two new Oakland schools have joined our project: Claremont Middle School and North Oakland Community Charter School. Educators from these schools, several new teachers from our existing partner schools (Emerson Elementary School, Oakland International High School, Oakland Technical High School, and Park Day School) and last year’s AbD cohort met for the first time as a group on September 17 at Claremont Middle School. They spent their time together building community, exploring goals for their year with AbD, and framing the themes of the research project. We look forward to another year of knowledge building with our new collaborative learning group, the Oakland Learning Community— a.k.a. the OLC.

We are also excited to welcome two new practice-based groups that have emerged from the OLC. The School Liaison group, made up of four Oakland-based educators, will help make AbD ideas and work visible at each partnering school, design and lead OLC study groups, and provide support for all OLC teachers as they connect AbD and PZ ideas to their own practice. The Learning Experiences Design Team (LEDT) was borne from our teachers’ desire to explore concrete and sustainable ways to integrate AbD project ideas into classroom practice and to consider ways to extend this work beyond the OLC. LEDT members will gather monthly to explore, discuss, design, and pilot test AbD inspired lessons. One intended outcome of the LEDT’s work will be a compilation of lessons and/or units that will be available and accessible on the Project Zero website.

The OLC now represents six schools and includes pre-k to twelfth grade teachers from a wide range of disciplines. The AbD team is thrilled to embark with them on another year full of questions, curiosities, and theory-building!

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About Jen Ryan

Jennifer Oxman Ryan is a project manager and researcher at Project Zero, located at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research interests include the role of the arts in community development, arts education, school/community partnerships, and young people’s engagement with digital media. She is currently focused on Agency by Design, an initiative exploring the intersection of the maker movement, design thinking, and Project Zero frameworks. She joined Project Zero in 2006, and has worked on various research projects, including: Qualities of Quality: Excellence in Arts Education and How to Achieve It, and the Trust and Trustworthiness and GoodPlay strands of the GoodWork™Project. She lives in Maine, where she is involved in arts education policy and advocacy. Since 1999 she has been active on the Maine Arts Commission, where she is currently a commission member and serves on the education committee.

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