The degree to which learners demonstrate control, autonomy, and power as they navigate and drive their learning experiences. Learners act as managers and advocates of their own learning. Learners embrace and contribute to their authentic, tailored, and social emotional learning experiences within a social context. Learners with high levels of agency are able to thrive as they transition into their post-secondary, career, and civic lives.
Learner Agency Resources
The Foundations for Young Adult Success report from the UChicago Consortium on Chicago Research synthesizes decades of research evidence, practice wisdom, and theory to capture a holistic view of children’s developmental needs from early childhood to young adulthood. They conclude that, "Adults play a pivotal role, and can give young people a better chance at successful lives by understanding and intentionally nurturing their development." Furthermore, they highlight the four foundational components, along with agency, integrated identity, and competencies, that occur at different stages throughout childhood and adolescence. All of which contributes to the development of successful young adults including the growth of the self and one’s abilities to interact with others and navigate the broader world.
2Revolutions, a national education design lab, has put together some fantastic (and free!) resources for adult learners who want to dive deep into the domain of learner agency.
Check out the Learner Agency Playlist to self-assess what your current understanding of learner agency is and progress through the associated resources to advance your knowledge and skills! For even more learning, 2Rev has shared four self-paced courses where adult learners can grow their knowledge of dispositions, culture and environment, relationships, and pedagogical approaches all within the context of learner agency.
Westside Personalized has over 50 episodes of their podcast recorded by PL educators for PL educators. In this episode, an 8th grade History teacher breaks down his first steps to implementing greater voice and choice options for students, particularly on the project products his students creates. As their PL model grew, he also outlines the additional steps, challenges, and both personal and student growth he witnessed. Listen here for an authentic reflection on over four years of personalized iterations and experiences.