A Lesson Collection for Learning about the
Origins, Diversity, and Flexibility of
Goal-Directed Behaviors

Understanding Agency is an interdisciplinary OpenEvo project working to develop educational innovations related to the scientific and practical understanding of goal-directed behaviors, across humans, non-human organisms, and Artificial Intelligences

Featured Resources

We are in the early stages of developing practical teaching materials, as our preliminary focus is on scientific clarification (see our innovation research model).

However, you can explore available resources below.

Conceptual attainment

Scientists have widely varying conceptions about what constitutes “agency”, and even what constitutes “an agent”. As you explore diverse perspectives on this concept, reflect on your own changing conceptions. 

The Decentralized Self

The human brain is the seat of human agency, and yet this agency is caused by cellular agents unaware of our larger human goals.

Tools for scientific thinking

Understanding agency is not easy, but it is fascinating! Scientific tools can help us refine and extend our thinking beyond our everyday experiences, to help us all think more clearly about causes within the systems that matter to us.

The Learning:Evolution Analogy

Learning and Evolution are processes that are both similar and different, in important respects. What can humans learn by comparing these processes?

Featured external projects

The concept of understanding agency within a school curriculum is relatively new in many regards, but some resources exist that can develop foundational understandings for interdisciplinary and metacognitive competencies among students.

What Kind of Mind?

‘What Kind of Mind?’ provides teaching resources to introduce pupils to research ideas about animal minds.

This evolving collection of concepts, tools, and resources is being developed to support diverse learners around the world in strengthening your own conceptual understanding of the intelligent agents that pervade our world. It is the result of a synthesis based on our OpenEvo Educational Design Concept, combined with scientific inspiration from the Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute and Prosocial Schools

We welcome collaborations with students, teachers, and researchers interested in advancing the educational potential of understanding agency.

Contact us with questions