Agile Classrooms Are Anchored by Reflective Practices | Jessica Cavallaro | 6 Min Read

June 1, 2023

The essence of the Agile framework is working in diverse teams to complete large projects in small increments. By working together moving one piece at a time teams can reflect on their actions and processes to ensure that they are working efficiently and effectively. This is the magic of agility and what has made the framework so popular in software design, and many other professional settings.

This rhythm of work—collaborating, learning, applying, and reflecting—easily transfers into future-forward classrooms. When agility is implemented in classrooms, no matter the age or content, students learn valuable life skills and can truly engage and understand their learning. Agile classrooms allow students the opportunity to learn the AI-proof skills they will need to navigate their world and develop into empathic, independent critical thinkers.

One of the most important skills children need when developing is the ability to reflect on their actions and how they impact the world around them. When children are small, this is a skill that needs explicit instruction. Toddlers often do not understand the world that exists outside of their sight line. However, we expect that students learn about the world, themselves, and how they think without providing scaffolding and opportunities for this development. 

In recent years, education has invested valuable resources of time and money to teach the skill of reflection but often makes the mistake of relying on direct instruction without authentic opportunities for application. In these cases, students hear the words and may understand the importance, but do not get a chance to practice and grow organically.  Agile classrooms provide this space daily because the framework is based on honest communication with the team and yourself. In Agile classrooms, students learn not only the content but the essential skill of reflection. The practice of reflection is organic to the process of learning and quickly becomes a skill that students employ in and outside of the classroom while teachers do not pay a “scope and sequence” penalty.

The opportunities to establish and develop reflective practices help students learn communication, self-awareness, critical thinking, and decision-making skills. Our students need to be proficient in these essential skills to navigate advances in technology and the new ways professionals work. 

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Jessica Cavallaro

Jessica Cavallaro is the co-founder of The Agile Mind, which interweaves Agile frameworks into K-12 education. She is passionate about the benefits of project based learning and creating purposeful education to drive innovation through inquiry. She is an advocate for developing systems that give students agency. Jessica earned her Bachelor’s degree at Pace University and Master’s in Education from Mercy College.