All learners have the potential to be empowered change makers in our democracy. Agency by Design offers a path to use maker-centered learning to support equity, student success, critical thinking, joyful school culture, and a shift to learner-driven practice.

Our mission is to redefine what learning looks like in schools through maker-centered education. No Child Left Behind mandated a high stakes standardized testing environment that unintentionally narrowed schools to focus on rote learning in reading and math. This pulled hands-on learning from classrooms and dropped science and social studies from the day’s agendas. If we are to reclaim the culture of schools in the service of democracy, we must do it through joyful, creative curricula based on research, hands-on projects, collaborative community-building, engaged learning environments, and a shift in the classroom power structure. Agency by Design is an educational framework that supports all of these things.

The Agency by Design Oakland leadership team and our partner-educators are driven toward an outcome of student empowerment.  We have our own research question we enact through our work each day: What will America look like when all communities are empowered to have a deep understanding of the world around them, and have the agency to make the changes they envision?