Creating Opportunities for Learner Agency​

LEVEL 5, China
January 18 - 19, 2020

Register Here


Creating opportunities for student agency

Agency is the capacity and propensity to take purposeful initiative—the opposite of helplessness. Young people with high levels of agency do not respond passively to their circumstances; they tend to seek meaning and act with purpose to achieve the conditions they desire in their own and others lives.

—Ferguson et al, 2015.

Albert Einstein once remarked, ‘I never teach my students, I just provide the conditions in which they learn’. What are the conditions for deeper engagement and agency in our schools? Many school mission or vision statements include aspirations like “all student will become independent lifelong learners”. What does that mean today compared to five to ten years ago, and how do teachers and administrator know if their efforts are having the impact they hope for? Providing students with opportunities and the capacity to act and make decisions about their learning promotes engagement and efficacy.

In this workshop participants will explore how to create authentic learning opportunities, units, coursework, programs and initiatives through an empathy-driven design thinking framework. Participants will reflect on insights from research and practice about creating conditions for boosting student agency so they can envision and design new learner experiences suited to the context of their own schools and classrooms.

Who is it for?

  • Educators of all levels, leaders, & coaches interested in improving student experience and relevance in a learning community
  • Educators of all levels, leaders, & coaches who are engaged in any strategic change process however large or small that affects the student experience.

What will you do?

  • Explore conditions that can boost engagement and agency
  • Collaborate educators to envision new learning opportunities
  • Employ an empathy-driven design thinking process to envision and design a unit framework, a new course, or a strategic project.

What will you walk away with?

  • Strategies and approaches to practice to help boost student agency
  • A new unit framework, course, program or a strategic model for change

Open to educators and the wider community (ages 16+)

About the Facilitator, Glenda Baker

Glenda is an optimist, a systems and design thinker, and a person who believes in the power of learning to transform lives. Glenda has worked as an educator for twenty-six years in Australia and internationally. From classroom teacher to strategic innovation and administration, her experiences have provided perspective and empathy for all kinds of learners—students and adults alike. Creating experiences that foster efficiency and agency have been an ongoing passion. In addition to teaching and leading in D-12 schools, Glenda has designed and taught PD courses for Global Online Academy and presented workshops on innovation and technology. Currently, Glenda is the HS Deputy Principal at United Nations International School of Hanoi.