Since 2012, researchers working with the Agency by Design initiative at Project Zero have investigated the promises, practices, and pedagogies of maker-centered learning. As a result, the Agency by Design research team has developed a framework for maker-centered learning that foregrounds agency and character-building as core outcomes of this work. This flexible framework for teaching and learning has been applied across a variety of formal and informal settings to great effect. Nonetheless, there has been a perennial concern from early childhood educators about the applicability of this framework for young learners. At the same time, over the course of Agency by Design’s sustained work with early childhood educators, we have seen the power of the Agency by Design framework for maker-centered learning in various early childhood education contexts.
Beginning in January 2018, researchers from Project Zero will be partnering with educators and administrators at the Victoria Educational Organisation’s kindergartens in Hong Kong to extend and expand upon the work of Agency by Design by engaging in a two-year pilot study entitled “Agency by Design: Early Childhood in the Making.” The goal of this collaborative inquiry is to develop an early childhood-specific framework for maker-centered learning that supports STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) education while also nurturing other generative cognitive dispositions and habits of mind at this critical stage of development.
By engaging in this work, we hope to extend the Agency by Design framework for maker-centered learning, and by doing so, expand the potential for early childhood maker-centered STEAM learning amongst the population of young people at the Victoria Kindergartens in Hong Kong—as well as for other young learners around the world. 

Project Info

Funder: Victoria Educational Organisation/Chow Tai Fook Education Group