Experiencing oneself as an active, self-directed agent who can, individually and in collaboration with others, formulate personally meaningful learning goals, figure out strategies to achieve them, engage the world to pursue them, construct understandings, and communicate the newly developed understandings to others. A sense of agency combines a sense of efficacy and personhood. It means: I stand in relation to others with my own motives and ideas and I have the competence to pursue them.
Unfortunately in our world, and particularly in many educational settings, no one is permitted to develop a sense of agency. Legislators decide on learning goals which may or may not be meaningful to anyone, administrators are put in a position where their accreditation and funding is dependent on meeting these learning goals, teachers are under pressure to ensure that these goals are met in their classrooms through a prescribed curriculum, students are the recipients of the information that people have determined to be important for them to have, and parents have little if any role in any of this.