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Getting Agile at School


Teachers at an international boarding school began experimenting with Scrum as a way to structure self-regulated learning in the context of a class taught in 2013–2014. In the 4 academic years since then, teachers have developed Kanban boards as individual, group, and classroom-wide organizational structures and trialed a number of concepts familiar to practitioners of Scrum, e.g., sprints, burndown charts, and retrospectives. Working with the support of the school’s professional development department, teachers engaged, in their particular classroom contexts, with action research cycles of planning, doing, reflecting, and redoing until arriving, at least for the time being, at ten practices of an Agile mindset for teaching and learning. Each of these will be familiar to educators. The thinking is that small adjustments in multiple practices are not only manageable for teachers, but also more likely to shift educational practice away from the tendency to rely heavily on carrot-and-stick traditions. Informing our practice in school with insights from the Agile revolution in industry is a way of suggesting that many of our current educational practices are in need of an update. Further, incremental change, shared by many, can be a powerful tool to create learning that organizations can be proud of.


  • Agile learning
  • Agile in education
  • Agile mindset
  • Project-based learning
  • School improvement
  • Student self-regulation

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Correspondence to Paul Magnuson .

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© 2019 Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

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Magnuson, P., Tihen, W., Cosgrove, N., Patton, D. (2019). Getting Agile at School. In: Parsons, D., MacCallum, K. (eds) Agile and Lean Concepts for Teaching and Learning. Springer, Singapore.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Singapore

  • Print ISBN: 978-981-13-2750-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-981-13-2751-3

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