SESSION #2: How Agency Helps Children Learn
The latest HighScope Roundtable series, inspired by the book Segregation by Experience: Agency, Racism, and Learning in the Early Grades (2021, University of Chicago Press) will delve into a groundbreaking study on equity and agency in the early childhood classroom.
This second session explores how children’s agency impacts how and what young children learn. The session will be led by Ms. Bailey, the teacher featured in Segregation by Experience, and two additional early childhood educators who have been featured in Dr. Adair’s agency research. Panelists will give firsthand accounts of offering young children agency in classrooms and what they notice about young children when they increase their agency. This session focuses on the dynamic, active, and agency-supportive learning experiences young children got to have in Ms. Bailey’s classroom. They moved around, talked to one another often, and used their initiative because they had the space and time to do so. They made lots of decisions about what and how they learned. The opportunity to move around, talk to one another, notice new things, contribute effort, and share ideas led to a range of developed and practiced capabilities across social and academic domains. This session will include video examples from the panelists’ classrooms.