Growing an Agile Mindset in the Classroom | Jessica Cavallaro | 9 Min Read

March 1, 2023

With the recent eruption of technology and specifically AI challenging traditional means of assessment, the world of education needs a dramatic shift in mindset and focus. The jobs and industries that have held constant during our formative years are no longer guaranteed to be there. When industry shifts, higher ed must adapt and so must K-12 education. As educators, we need to best prepare our students for an increasingly complex world that heavily relies on technology. Instead of continuing down the same path, we must adapt and change our mindsets towards the skills that will transcend technology and allow our students to find success no matter what changes and shifts during their lives. 

The shift we must focus on is the development of an agile mindset. This is distinctly different from a growth or fixed mindset which has dominated our lexicon for the past few years. 

A fixed mindset values expertise but discourages risk in learning or development.  A growth mindset opens up the possibilities of change, helping us acknowledge that character, skills, and knowledge can shift over time. The agile mindset goes beyond the growth mindset because it acknowledges that change can happen and openly searches for the changes that can be made to improve the process and outcomes. 

Our current technology can pull facts, put together sentences, and sort data, which means we need to purposefully teach students how to reframe situations, and approach issues from different perspectives. An agile mindset values collaboration, innovation, and problem-solving. It is flexibility in our thinking and processes by working collaboratively, trying new ideas, and constantly reflecting on learning.  Instead of just acknowledging that situations can change, it opens the mind to possibilities, divergent ways of thinking, and multiple paths to goals.

It helps students become more resilient, adaptable, and flexible in their cognitive paths. An agile mindset promotes learning through taking risks in assumptions, experimenting, and reflecting on the positive and negative results.  These are the skills that our students must learn and become fluent in as they will need them to navigate AI, which is currently incapable of participating in these kinds of functions. 

An agile mindset cannot be cultivated in a vacuum. It must be practiced during lessons and when there are opportunities for collaboration. It is not enough to tell students that it is essential for them to problem-solve in different ways. It is…

Register Now
You may use your member school or partner discount code !!!

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.