To consider the meaning and significance of ‘agency’, both for teachers and for learners

Aim

To consider the meaning and significance of ‘agency’, both for teachers and for learners.

Evidence and reflection

This activity focuses on how people respond and act in relation to circumstances. In particular, it is about the human spirit and the possibilities which always exist whatever the circumstances.

An interesting way of approaching this is to share one’s educational biography with a colleague with whom one feels secure. Taking it in turns, take time to provide a narrative of how you moved through your education, meeting different teachers, growing up, finding some learning difficult but succeeding in others. Identify and focus on some key episodes or turning points which enabled you to progress. Explore if you can the actions you took and the encouragement or support you received from others.

Does consideration of such narratives and key moments enable you to see the significance of agency, in the form of your determination to succeed or the judgement by others to encourage you?

Extension

You might like to consider the learning of a small number of pupils you know at school. To what extent are they able to exercise agency in relation to their circumstances and goals, and might you be able to help?