Why Scrum At School

What does Agile education means? 

See Manifesto for Agile education

Assumptions:

  1. Responsibility for students above control by teachers
  2. Kaizen mindset above meeting standards
  3. Teamwork above individual excellence
  4. Feedback above grades
  5. Respond to changes above following a plan

Why is Agile more effective than other methods? 

Ah, what’s the secret of Agile … can you answer the question for Agile in business?

Probably the answer in education is the same.

  • Scrum@school scaffolds teamwork and the learning process
  • Scrum board gives structure and insight for students and teachers
  • Sprint Releases make end results achievable and prevent postponement
  • Iterations and feedback loops (feedback, Review, Retro) stimulate a Kaizen mindset and progression in working and learning
  • Scrum gives the team responsibility and autonomy for the HOW, that makes students grow

 

Where do you apply Agile in your curriculum? 

Everywhere, schools are free to choose their methods.

  • Secondary education: project work (Technasium, Econasium, Entreprenasium); sciences (math, physics, chemistry, technology); social sciences (history, geography, economics); languages (Dutch, English, Latin, French); arts; physical education.
  • Secondary vocational education: project work in IT, Media, Technology, Tourism, Retail, Healthcare, Business, …
  • Universities for applied sciences: Communication, Legal, Creative Design, Teacher Training, …
  • Most important condition: teacher values cooperative learning and wants to stimulate self-organised learning.

 

How much time would it take for the teachers and the pupils to learn Agile? 

For students this depends of their

  • Age (pre teenagers are quick learners, teenagers and adolescents need more time)
  • Level (low cognitive levels often lack self confidence to learn new methods and therefor need more time)
  • Teacher (students of good (Scrum) teachers need less time)
  • The amount of Scrum hours per week
  • Most student can start  with Scrum after an introduction of 2 – 3 lessons and need half a year to get used to Scrum when they scrum 3 – 5 lessons per week.

The results (especially grades, reflective skills, personal development) keep improving at least 2 years.

Teachers need 3 training sessions to start with Scrum, half a year to get used to Scrum and 2 – 3 years to reach the level of Agile Practitioner Education.

 

What are the improvements that you obtain by using Agile in a school? 

Students:

  • ownership and responsibility;
  • better teamwork;
  • better team players;
  • connection with peers;
  • more pleasure;
  • Kaizen mindset;
  • meeting deadlines;
  • better results;
  • better grades;
  • deeper learning;
  • personal development (skills and self-confidence);
  • preparation for further education,
  • internship and jobs.

Teachers:

  • relaxation;
  • more time to do the important work (subject- and personal coaching);
  • partnership in learning with their students;
  • satisfaction.

 

How do you implement Agile at School? 

  1. The teacher (or external client) gives the assignment and deadline to the teams.
  2. The teams are looking forward to a concrete final presentation: a presentation, report, assignment, design, test, film …
  3. The work is divided into short Sprints. Its length varies from a few lessons to a few days.
  4. After each Sprint, the teams provide an intermediate to which they receive feedback.
  5. This way they know if they are on the right track.
  6. Each team has its own Scrum board.
  7. All tasks and activities are on post-it and shift to To Do to Busy to Done.
  8. Short, practical ceremonies ensure the teams:
  • are compiled based on additional qualities
  • each meeting monitors progress and focuses on the job
  • within deadlines
  • after each Sprint reflect on product and process
  • improve the quality of work after each Sprint
  • improve your own collaboration after each Sprint