June 20, 2016

New AbD Online Course: Thinking and Learning in the Maker-Centered Classroom

The Agency by Design team is excited to announce the launch of its online course, Thinking and Learning in the Maker-Centered Classroom. Administered by the Programs in Professional Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Thinking and Learning in the Maker-Centered Classroom brings together teams of educators from around the world to engage with the principles developed by the Agency by Design research team over the past three years. In particular, the learning goals for the course include the following:

  • To provide participants with an understanding of the concept of maker-centered learning, its contemporary origins, and its implications for education;
  • To familiarize participants with Agency by Design’s instructional framework to support thinking and learning in the maker-centered classroom, and;
  • To develop maker-centered learning experiences to meet the goals of each participant’s home teaching and learning environment.

The course will run three times a year, once in the summer, fall, and spring. We’ve just kicked off our virgin run of the course, and we’re excited to share a little bit about our participants…

Our first group of students is an excitingly diverse bunch! In total, there are 66 participants comprising 17 teams from all across the world: Australia, India, Jordan, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the United States. Collectively our participants represent almost every level of learner engagement: from primary school, to middle school, to secondary school, and even higher education. Our participants also come from a mix of formal and informal learning environments. While many of them are classroom teachers, others either bring or hope to bring maker-centered learning experiences into a variety of other learning settings, including libraries and after-school spaces. All this to say, we’re delighted to be engaged with such a fascinating mix of people working in a wide array of educational contexts.

As one of the outcomes for the course, participants will be trying out a series of exercises in their home teaching and learning environments that aim to support the three core maker capacities of looking closely, exploring complexity, and finding opportunity. We’re already learning a great deal from our participants and look to learn a whole lot more from them as they each develop a “picture of practice” of maker-centered learning in action. Watch this space—as we hope to periodically share news from the course with the wider Agency by Design community.

If you’re interested in learning more about the course—or would like to join us in the fall—please check out the course listing on the HGSE website. If you’re either a participant in the course or a coach for the course, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below to share your experiences with the wider Agency by Design network. And if your tweeting about your online course experience, please tag us with #TLMCC and connect with us at @AgencybyDesign.

See you online!

2 thoughts on “New AbD Online Course: Thinking and Learning in the Maker-Centered Classroom”

  1. Mineze says:

    Good day
    I was just forwarded the LinkedIn post about the new AbD online course: Thinking and Learning in the Maker-Centered Classroom. I noticed that there are teams from South Africa.

    Would you be able to connect me with these teams? We are developing a maker space in Johannesburg and would like to start a community of South African makers.

    Thank you in advance.
    Kind regards,
    Mineze

  2. Jenny Ernst says:

    Who knew that maker-centered learning would look and feel the so similar on different continents? Maybe you’re old enough to remember Keyes’s book, The Hundredth Monkey, where consciousness and action seemed to magically spread between Japanese monkeys who lived an ocean apart? It seems the maker movement has reached a critical mass and educators all over the world are talking the same talk and “co-inspiring” one another to create learning environments where students can’t help but get pulled into deep thinking and learning. Really positive stuff!

    Jenny Ernst (AbD coach)

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