“Agency is the power to take
meaningful and intentional
action, and acknowledges the
rights and responsibilities of the
individual, supporting voice,
choice and ownership…”
Unicosmos curriculum is based on Agency approach and Agency is the ability to do something on your own. It’s the opportunity to create, choose, take charge of, and own your knowledge, learning and skills. The idea of agency is closely connected to self-efficacy, a belief in one’s own ability to succeed.
Even though the term ‘student agency’ is the new buzz word in the PYP regarding the learners, it really is not altogether new as it is just a shift where more emphasis is laid on providing more deliberate autonomy to our students, thus developing leadership.
Agency is neither a skill that needs to be developed nor measured. It’s something that all of us already have. The difference lies in whether others in our respect and support in implementing it.
BENEFITS OF AGENCY
- Students and teachers collaboratively create learning engagements and assessments.
- Students setting learning goals and monitor their progress.
- Students foster their own belief in themselves and their own ability to succeed.
- Students are active, engaged participants in thinking and learning.
When students are agentive, they:
- Take initiative, responsibility & ownership
- Express interest
- Make choices
- Are aware of their own learning goals
- Monitor and adjust their learning
- Voice opinions
- Influence and direct their own learning
- Develop approaches to learning & dispositions
They also work collaboratively with teachers to:
- Make decisions together
- Create shared agreements
- Create shared routines
- Set up learning spaces
- Reflect together
It is important to recognize that
teachers cannot give learners agency,
but rather they can create
opportunities in which learners can
exercise agency. They can do this by:
- Working in partnership, building relationship
- Actively listening
- Respecting and responding to learner ideas
- Noticing learners’ capabilities, needs and interests
- Reflecting on when students need help, intervening & giving feedback
- Establishing a welcoming culture
- Modeling desired behaviour and language
There are three main elements in the agency:
VOICE – CHOICE – OWNERSHIP
How to implement these elements?
- Students question, guide and direct learning
- Students propose and initiate action
- Students participate in decision making
- Students co-construct learning goals
- Students engage with multiple perspectives
- Students define own learning goals
- Students reflect on own learning goals
- Students’ ideas are supported throughout
planning and taking action.
Student Agency promotes ownership of learning by
- Self-Regulation: Students take action on their own keep moving forward by their own initiative. They develop problem solving skills as they can identify problems, make solutions, modify plans and reflect on outcomes.
- Self-Awareness: Verbalize what is needed to be successful, while being respectful. They set achievable goals and monitor their progress.
- Teamwork & Confidence: Change action based on new information and new circumstances. Share thoughts and feelings appropriately while listening and seeking to understand thoughts and feelings of others.
- Conflict Management: Plan and prioritize tasks to get things done on time. Overcome obstacles and setbacks to achieve goals.
- Unicosmos curriculum has been designed according to the needs of 21st century learners and hence our curriculum is not only focusing on academics, but also helps a child to develop a broad range of life skills required to live in this challenging world. Our curriculum develops and demonstrates the different attributes of the learner profile which creates the foundation for international-mindedness.