We believe that when individuals experience autonomy, competence, and relatedness they have the greatest potential for efficacy and happiness.

We believe that inhibitors to autonomy, competence and relatedness in schools stem from a lack of understanding of  1) human motivation, 2) human cognition, and 3) human systems. When these three fundamental concepts are addressed, schools can become a place for self-actualization.

Therefore, we dedicate ourselves to bring to light the research in these areas, and create practical solutions that will help schools, districts, states and countries embrace the potential of agentic learning for every learner.

What is Agentic Learning?

Agentic: An individual’s power to control their goals, actions and destiny.

Agentic stems from the word “agency.” Webster’s Dictionary defines agency as the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power. In the late 1980s, Stanford University Psychologist Albert Bandura began developing a theory of social cognition that he associated with self-efficacy. He later examined more specifically the role of agency and motivation, and coined the term Agentic, in which people are viewed as self-organizing, proactive, self-reflecting and self-regulated.

Student Agency:  What do we mean when we talk about student agency?  After all, if agency has to do with an individual’s ability to exert power, it is possible to consider actions such as dropping out of school or checking out as agentic.  We have a more narrow definition: Students have agency when they, of their own volition, improve their learning, their learning environment, or themselves.

There are two key elements here.  The motivation to act which we address using the robust body of research found in Self-Determination Theory, and the skills to act which we find in the body of research surrounding Self-Regulated Learning.  Of these, the shift to more powerful motivation is the more challenging and requires a positive change in school culture for teachers and students alike.

Agentic Learning Environment: An environment that fosters high quality motivation and supports the learners goals with effective pedagogy.

Our Founders

Marie Bjerede
Marie Bjerede President
Before her decade in education work, Marie spent over 10 years as a practitioner in developing self-organizing teams fueled by employee agency while a Fortune 500 Vice President.
Michael Gielniak, PhD
Michael Gielniak, PhD Chief Executive Officer
Michael has over 30 years experience as an educator and education leader. Michael was the COO of the One to One Institute and a Principal Author of Project Red.
Roger Lo
Roger Lo Chief Technology Officer
Roger has over 25 years experience as a software developer and architect including web and mobile development.