Agency by Design Oakland Culmination May 2017

On May 24, 2017 Agency by Design Oakland concluded a one year fellowship with a group of amazing educators. We celebrated at Chapter 510 in downtown Oakland, reconvening in the location where we began the fellowship the year before.

The event welcomed teachers, community members and students. Teacher fellows showcased artifacts, visual documentation, and videos from the inquiry work they completed over the year. Researchers from Project Zero at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education described the research process that coincided with the year and drove the inquiries that educators were trying out in their classrooms. The overarching research questions for the 2016-2017 year were:

  • How can learners make visible their ability to look closely, explore complexity, and find opportunity?

  • How can teachers qualitatively measure students’ performance within the realm of these three core maker capacities?

  • How can we collaborate with students and teachers to design a suite of practical documentation and assessment tools best suited to the development of maker empowerment?

During the event two fellows, Kennan Scott and Robbie Torney, presented Ignite Talks to give the crowd a snapshot of the leadership and work they’ve engaged in at their schools.

Kennan Scott, Engineering and Computer Science Teacher at West Oakland Middle School, presented on making computer science relevant in the hood. Kennan walked the crowd through the lack of diversity in the tech industry and described how he is empowering his students to see themselves in tech leadership roles. Kennan is also in the process of designing a new Oakland school, Coded Academy, which would focus on coding throughout the content areas.

Robbie Torney, Assistant Principal at Lodestar, a Lighthouse Community School, presented his ideas around redesigning schools to create more equitable education. He posed the question: What would school look like if it were built around agency and belonging?

You’re invited to this year’s culmination event, which will take place in the morning of Saturday, May 5th, 2018, location TBD. The current 2017-2018 Agency by Design Oakland fellows have created their own inquiry questions spanning leadership, assessment, curriculum integration, and more.