Week 11

Agile and Servant Leadership

The Ball Point Game


A great collaborative environment with focus on developing skills. However we did get set in the mindset that our way was right, and didn’t think of any other options to solve the problem. We also noticed that each group interpreted the instructions differently.


  • Doesn’t appear to be the leader – Leads from behind
  • Provides service and motivation
  • May not be the ‘leader’ but is the gel that keeps everything together.

Agile and Lean Education

“We talk a lot in education about creating a culture of learning in our schools. But we don’t have reliable ways of creating culture. Agile does.”

Some IT guys decided to come up with an effective way to change the industry to work effectively. – http://agilemanifesto.org

The 4 rules are the core values of this – started in IT but can be applied to education.

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

Steve Peha is a proponent of agile education. His ideas are as follows.

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Meaningful learning over measurement of learning
  • Stakeholder collaboration over content negotation
  • Responding to change over following the plan


How could we rewrite the agile manifesto to apply it to teaching and learning?

  • Learners and collaboration over tick boxes and assessments
  • Effective teaching over chalk and talk
  • Student voice over teacher prescribed
  • Embracing change and being flexible over sticking to the plan

What does our school planning look like? Can it embrace change? Draw a flow chart of the process.

  • Unit work planned by teachers – however they are given a template for success
  • Self regulation for teachers = fitting the required literacy and numeracy strands to the inquiry topics, ensuring they are all covered within a year.
  • Inquiry – given the big idea and the lines of inquiry – students then lead their questioning around this


Agile vs Waterfall

In the waterfall approach, decisions are made at the beginning of the project. During development the customer is not involved with the creative team. Harry is only able to provide feedback at the end of the project when the creative process has been completed. Like water that flows down a waterfall cannot come back, it is not possible for Harry to adjust the scope of this project once it’s been developed.

Agile development focuses on one area of the project at a time. During development Sally works with the creative team. Sally is able to provide feedback throughout the entire creative process.With agile, the client and creatives constantly work together to prioritize what is going to be the next feature that provides the most business value.

Task – Create your own Agile vs Waterfall movie focused on education


  • Meet Mr. Taylor! Mr. Taylor works in a traditional classroom – he wants to introduce topic research to his students.
  • I can’t wait to teach the class about topics I love.
  • Meet Miss Han! Miss Han works in a modern learning environment. She wants to introduce an exciting inquiry topic for her students.
  • I wonder what my students want to learn…
  • Mr. Taylor chooses to use a traditional teaching method called teacher directed learning – This is also known as the waterfall approach. In the waterfall approach, decisions are made by the teacher before the project starts. When preparing for this topic Mr. Taylor did not consider student voice or the interest of his students. Mr Taylor is only able to teach what he knows and what he is interested.
  • Miss Han chooses to work collaboratively with her students, gathering student voice and takes into account their interests. She has chosen the agile approach. Agile development focuses on one area of the inquiry process at a time. During this approach Miss Han is able to work alongside her students facilitating, modelling and scaffolding learning.
  • When Mr Taylor begins his topic he realizes all the students are not interested in the topic at all, they are fully disengaged and are causing problems.
  • Mr Taylor used the waterfall approach. Like water that flows down a waterfall, it cannot come back, it is not possible for Mr Taylor to adjust his topic or teaching approach in the time given. The final assessment won’t meet his expectations.
  • Miss Han reviews the learning of her students – together – they decide where to next based on questioning and interest. Miss Han is excited that the students are engaged in the learning. The students are flourishing and will meet the co-constructed learning outcomes.
  • Miss Han used the agile philosophy. With agile, the students and facilitators of learning constantly work together to prioritize what there next learning steps are and how this can be applied to the real world.
  • The bottom line Mr Taylor is left with students who have not learnt anything valuable.
  • Miss Han is left with successful, engaged and motivated students who have valued their learning. They are able to take what they have learnt and apply it elsewhere.
  • The next time Mr. Taylor plans a topic he will need to think of his students first.

Agile in practice – Story Cards


Trello as a planning tool – useful for collaborative planning and project management. I really like the ease to move things around, add ideas, and share with others. I can see multiple uses in the classroom, within teacher collaboration and impersonal application.



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