A Collaboration with
Agency by Design Oakland
& Maker Ed


The Project

Maker programs are being established in more and more schools. We at The Culture of Repair Project believe that Repair’s problem-solving, materials exploration, design orientation, and systems thinking align exquisitely with Maker curricula, structures and objectives. We also believe that the additional dimensions introduced by Repair offer an opportunity to further develop and enrich existent Maker-Centered Learning strategies and tools.

A new collaboration among The Culture of Repair Project, Maker Ed and Agency by Design Oakland will interrogate those beliefs. A working group of educators has been assembled to explore whether and how Repair might be productively integrated into Maker-Centered Learning.

The focal point of the current phase of work is on examining the Repair mindset — the “disposition to repair”, exploring how its development further empowers learners in the context of Maker-Centered Learning.

During the summer of 2019 the working group will begin to surface the productive and distinctive characteristics associated with a Repair Mindset, and begin to develop structures, teaching and learning strategies, and tools to develop those characteristics.

Our research questions include, among others:

  • How are we defining “Repair”?

  • What are the key characteristics of having a “Repair Mindset”?

  • Are there desirable aspects of a Repair Mindset that add to a Maker Mindset?

  • What is the relationship between Repair and Agency?

  • What systems does Repair bring into focus?

  • What tools from the Agency by Design framework can be used or adapted to support the development of a Repair Mindset?

  • What new tools or educational interventions can be developed to support cultivating a Repair Mindset in the K-12 setting?

Deliverables — Throughout the three month period the team will:

  • Share aspects of the ongoing work on social media, through Maker Ed and Agency by Design Oakland.

  • Publish reflections and adapted and new tools that have emerged from the work, in blog posts and/or online modules.

  • Propose a plan for Phase Two, which would include gathering and evaluating learnings from the current work.

The team plans to develop one or more workshops for teachers that prototype ideas coming out of its research and experience.

2018 / 2019 Initative — Mini-Grant Program

The Culture of Repair Project offered Mini-Grants to AbD Oakland Teacher Fellows for the 2018/2019 school year to support their exploring the relationship between Repair and maker-centered learning in the K-12 classroom.

Outcomes from the Mini-Grant program contributed materially to the design and content of the current Maker Ed / Agency by Design Oakland / Culture of Repair collaboration.

Information about the 2018/2019 initiative is here.

Maker Ed

The mission of Maker Ed is to harness the potential of making to transform teaching and learning through providing training, support, and resources to individuals, institutions and communities that are integrating maker education into their learning environments. Utilizing a blend of online and in person opportunities for engagement, Maker Ed offers:

  • In-person workshops, trainings, and the Maker Ed Institute

  • Freely available online resources and publications

  • Annual national convening

  • Multi-year institutional support through our Making Spaces program

  • Connection to local, regional, and national networks

For more information: Maker Ed

Agency by Design

Supported by the Abundance Foundation, Agency by Design (AbD) was a multiyear research initiative by Harvard University Graduate School of Education's Project Zero, investigating the promises, practices, and pedagogies of maker-centered learning experiences. Agency by Design Oakland was the principal research and implementation site of Agency by Design.

"Educational initiatives that emphasize making, design, engineering, and tinkering have been gaining traction in schools and organizations across the country. While maker-centered learning is not a new concept, recent and emerging trends suggest a new kind of hands-on pedagogy—a responsive and flexible pedagogy that encourages community and collaboration (a do-it-together mentality), distributed teaching and learning, and crossing boundaries."

AbD Oakland Mission: "All learners have the potential to be empowered change makers in our democracy. Agency by Design offers a path to use maker-centered learning to support equity, student success, critical thinking, joyful school culture, and a shift to learner-driven practice. Our mission is to redefine what learning looks like in schools through maker-centered education."

For more information: Agency by Design Oakland


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