|Leysin American School in Switzerland|
Paul Magnuson is the director of LAS Educational Research (LASER). The center’s mission is to experiment with and document innovative approaches to student-centered learning. Paul and his colleague Bill Tihen, a member of the school’s IT team, see Scrum as a way to grow self-directed learners. The idea of using Scrum, the most popular Agile methodology, in their classrooms came from Bill, who had coached Paul in the past on Kanban,
To help incorporate Agile into their school, they brought in John Miller, a Certified Scrum Coach and Chief Empowerment Officer of Agile Classrooms, for two days of training. The Scrum Alliance has been a big supporter of John’s commitment to using Scrum to transform the world of education ever since he unveiled the first classroom to use Scrum at the Atlanta Scrum Gathering in 2010. When the Scrum Alliance, the largest Agile organization in the world, heard of
to implement Scrum for their students, they stepped up to sponsor the event. The Swiss Group of International Schools also co-sponsored the workshop. Paul and Bill’s desire
The Agile Classrooms Workshop
Twenty-five educators attended John’s Agile Classroom Workshop. The room filled with energy as sticky notes began covering the windows and the walls. Using the core principles of Scrum and the latest research on effective learning, participants designed their own highly visible learning radiators, used the Learning Rhythm as an iterative learning cycle, and created their own vision of 21st Century learning.
Because the workshop was in the last quarter of the school year, no one expected much by way of implementation. So what happened was surprising!
- A university professor left saying how inspired he was and how eager he was to share Agile with this dean and colleagues.
- An administrator created plans to use Scrum to improve focused collaboration on the committee she chairs.
- One group was excited to immediately incorporate Retrospectives for student reflections.
- Another teacher is creating a club where students will use Scrum to manage their own activities.
- A group of teachers came up with an idea to use the Scrum boards and cards to connect and track learning between their classes for cross-curricular integration.
The Future of Agile at LAS
LAS began planning in 2014-2015 for the opening of a middle school (grades 7 and 8) in Fall 2016. Alongside less interesting considerations like the anticipated number of teachers, classrooms and type of curriculum, the exciting idea of using Agile as an instructional
constant is being integrated into ongoing planning.
In 2015-2016 a small committee will use the concept of the Visible Classroom to visually manage their work for increased transparency and collaboration. Even as
LAS designs instruction to support greater student self-regulation through Agile principles, they’ll be gaining greater experience with Agile … by using it!
Follow the Journey
To learn more about the innovative work of LAS Educational Research, please visit their website http://www.las.ch/academics/laser/edresearch/
To Learn more about the Scrum Alliance visit ScrumAlliance.org
Start Your Journey
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