Learner Agency is widely discussed in education circles with growing numbers of educators producing articles on the benefits of building the capacity of learners.
What is necessary to develop a sense of agency?
Emirbayer, M., & Mische, A.(1998). What is agency? American Journal of Sociology, 103, 962–1023.10.1086/ajs.1998.103.issue-4
Three main ideas which enable agency appear to be consistent across all articles I’ve read:
- Is in the present- the now
- Personal experience and the importance of a wide variety of experience
- Setting goals and knowing how to achieve these goal
At my last school we investigated Learner Agency and how we could develop agency within the school program. Equally, around this time I was fortunate to be invited to participate in the Southern Metropolitan Region Principals’ Instructional Rounds program. Whenever discussing learning in schools we referred to the Instructional Core. The Instructional Core is: Student-Teacher-Task and Interaction. Understanding the core and using Instructional Rounds protocols highlighted the importance of planning to enable agency.
The Instructional Core is very relevant to agency. Learning experiences need to be designed to promote agency.
The above IB document is an excellent place to start as it encourages schools to look at their current practice. When we know where we are, we can plan how we move forward.
Next Post: Writing strategies which promote learner agency.