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Professional Learning

Friday Institute’s New Learner Agency Modules Provide Practical Solutions to Foster Learner Agency

The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation recently launched an extensive update of its learner agency modules based on feedback from pilot testing and survey data. The Learner Agency modules were updated to reflect the changing landscape of education, provide recent resources and include the opportunity for more thoughtful and valuable personal reflection and forum experiences. 

“The updated learner agency modules are better aligned to the realities of teaching and learning in today’s world and quickly get educators and leaders ready to make changes in their classrooms based on their student feedback and educational context,” said Brittany Miller, research scholar at the Friday Institute. “Learner Agency in Practice, in particular, was almost completely rewritten to focus on gaining student perspective through surveys and the practical application of methods that foster learner agency for every student.” 

These modules are self-paced and center around understanding learner agency and putting it into practice in the classroom. They support educators in creating a learning environment that fosters and empowers every student. There are multiple real classroom examples, practical strategies to try and guided reflections to help educators and leaders gain insight from students and reflect deeply on their role in fostering learner agency, with a special focus on empowering students from historically marginalized groups. Through the individual Companion Workbooks available in Foundations of Learner Agency and Learner Agency in Practice, participants are encouraged to take a more introspective look at their teaching practice, their interactions with students and how they can provide opportunities for students to enact their agency. Geared toward K-12 teachers and leaders, these three modules are designed to take 10 hours each. 

There are three learner agency modules in the series:

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Foundations of Learner Agency is centered on defining agency, understanding that it will look different for every student and context, and considering how our identities can shape our thinking about learner agency. 
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Learner Agency in Practice is intended to be a part two to Foundations, guiding participants through collecting their students’ feedback, unpacking it and making intentional changes in their classroom. Participants who took the modules previously are encouraged to retake Learner Agency in Practice, which has the greatest level of change.
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Leading with Purpose: Learner Agency for Marginalized Students is a streamlined module intended for school and district leadership to gain insight and perspective on how they can foster learner agency in students from their school, with a particular awareness and support for students from marginalized groups who may have experienced punishment previously for enacting their agency.

The Friday Institute will launch a new stack of Learner Agency micro-credentials this summer on Digital Promise’s micro-credentialing platform that will align with the modules. This will provide educators an opportunity to earn validation for the work they have done in intentionally expanding learner agency opportunities for students. This stack will join a set of 36 accompanying micro-credentials.

The Learner Variability program, funded by Oak Foundation, encompasses a complete set of Social and Emotional Learning modules, a Learning Differences course and the Learner Agency modules that work to create a holistic approach to student learning and empowerment grounded in the reality of classrooms today.

Since its launch in 2015, the Friday Institute’s free online professional learning for educators has reached over 80,000 educators and leaders on its learning platform across the globe. Many courses and modules are now available in an on-demand format to provide timely and high-quality professional development that meet educators’ needs and schedules.

Register now for any of our free courses and modules on our learning platform at