A Celebration of Learning

Teachers from various OLC schools discuss the array student work on display, including a library redesign project (left) at OIHS. Photo by Emi Kane.

Teachers from various Oakland Learning Community schools discuss the array of student work on display, including a library redesign project (left) at Oakland International High School. Photo by Emi Kane.

On Tuesday, May 6, 2014 educators, administrators, parents, and friends representing communities throughout the East Bay area came together at Studio One Arts Center in Oakland, CA to celebrate the work of Agency by Design’s Oakland Learning Community (OLC). For the past two years, teachers from six pre-K–12 Oakland schools have been partnering with Agency by Design researchers from Project Zero to explore the potential of maker-centered learning in their classrooms. Following a workshop session with OLC educators, the “Celebration of Learning” event illustrated the rich teaching and learning that took place in OLC classrooms.

OLC member Harriet, a founding teacher at Park Day School, interacts  with student work from Oakland International High School (OIHS). Teachers at OIHS have been part of the Agency by Design initiative for the past two years. One of their AbD projects involved making a movie with their computers and technology teacher, Thi. Photo by Emi Kane.

OLC member Harriet, a founding teacher at Park Day School, interacts with student work from Oakland International High School. Teachers at OIHS have been part of the Agency by Design initiative for the past two years. One of their AbD projects involved making a movie with their computers and technology teacher, Thi. Photo by Emi Kane.

OLC member and Emerson Middle School teacher Carla led her students in an exploration of pencils as designed objects. Here she is installing a giant student-made pencil before the opening of the OLC Celebration of Learning exhibit.

OLC member and Emerson Elementary School teacher Carla led her students in an exploration of pencils as designed objects. Here she is installing a giant student-made pencil before the opening of the OLC Celebration of Learning exhibit.

Under the guidance of Kurt, an OLC member and Claremont Middle School history and ethnic studies teacher, students applied systems and design thinking to explore community, history, and self.  “What are the parts, purposes, and complexities of community systems?” Photo by Emi Kane.

Under the guidance of Kurt, an OLC member and Claremont Middle School history and ethnic studies teacher, students paired systems and design thinking with Project Zero thinking routines to explore community, history, and self. “What are the parts, purposes, and complexities of community systems?” Photo by Emi Kane.

Claremont Middle School teacher and OLC member Maite utilized old-school viewfinders to document the transformation of her school’s maker and design corridor. Photo by Emi Kane.

Claremont Middle School teacher and OLC member Maite utilized old-school viewmasters to document the transformation of her school’s maker and design corridor. Photo by Emi Kane.

Stephen Kahn, director of the Abundance Foundation, shares reflections and expresses his appreciation for the Agency by Design researchers and the Oakland Learning Community teaching teams. The Abundance Foundation has been a key supporter of AbD initiative from the very beginning—and remains enthusiastic about the continued success of the project. Photo by Emi Kane.

Stephen Kahn, president of the Abundance Foundation, shares reflections and expresses his appreciation for the Agency by Design researchers and the Oakland Learning Community teaching teams. The Abundance Foundation has been a key supporter of AbD initiative from the very beginning—and remains enthusiastic about the continued success of the project. Photo by Emi Kane.

Oakland International High School teacher and OLC member Thi celebrates the accomplishments of her colleagues and their students with Wendy Donner of the Abundance Foundation. Both Thi and Wendy have been an integral part of the Agency by Design from the very beginning. Next year Thi will be pausing her work with the project to pursue her work as a graphic novelist. Photo by Emi Kane.

Oakland International High School teacher and OLC member Thi celebrates the accomplishments of her colleagues and their students with Wendy Donner of the Abundance Foundation. Both Thi and Wendy have been an integral part of the Agency by Design initiative from the very beginning. Next year Thi will be pausing her work with the project to pursue her work as a graphic novelist. Photo by Emi Kane.

OLC member Renee, a third grade teacher at Park Day School, explains her student work to her colleague Susan. Renee's class chose to explore a light bulb as a complex object. Photo by Emi Kane.

OLC member Renee, a third grade teacher at Park Day School, explains her student work to her colleague Susan. Renee’s class chose to explore a light bulb as a complex object. Photo by Emi Kane.

Student work from the library redesign project at Oakland International High School was a big hit at the OLC Celebration of Learning.

Student work from the library redesign project at Oakland International High School was a big hit at the OLC Celebration of Learning.

OLC member Kurt, a social studies and ethics teacher at Claremont Middle School, celebrates the work of his colleagues with AbD researcher Edward Clapp. Photo by Emi Kane.

OLC member Kurt, a history and ethnic studies teacher at Claremont Middle School, celebrates the work of his colleagues with AbD researcher Edward Clapp. Photo by Emi Kane.

What’s represented here is only a small sample of the rich student and teacher work on display at the Oakland Learning Community Celebration of Learning. Please view our Instagram page to check out more images from this exciting event… and if you’re an OLC teacher, administrator, parent, student, or supporter, please feel free to leave a comment about your experience working with the Agency by Design research initiative!

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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

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