Conceptualized by Bandura in social cognitive theory, agency “enable[s] people to play a part in their self-development, adaptation, and self-renewal with changing times” (Bandura2001).
PYP students with agency use their own initiative and will, and take responsibility and ownership of their learning. They direct their learning with a strong sense of identity and self-belief, and in conjunction with others, thereby building a sense of community and awareness of the opinions, values and needs of others.
When learners have agency, the role of the teacher and student changes; the relationship between a teacher and a student is viewed as a partnership.
Students take initiative, express interest and wonderings, make choices and are aware of their learning goals. They are actively engaged, and monitor and adjust their learning as needed. Students offer feedback to others and consult on decisions that affect them. In school, students take responsibility for their learning and collaborate with teachers and other students to plan, present and assess learning needs. Teachers recognize students’ capabilities through listening, respecting and responding to their ideas. They make thoughtful considerations and decisions with an emphasis on relationships, dialogue and respect for one another.