What makes a classroom agile? | Jessica Cavallaro | 4 Min Read

October 12, 2021

Throughout the summer, I answered this question from educators all over the world. While I do not have a definitive answer, there are some qualities that distinguish an agile classroom from a traditional classroom: student agency, the teacher as a guide, and skills.

Student Agency

In an agile classroom, students drive their education. This does not mean that the classroom is a free-for-all where there are no standards or organized curriculum. It is quite the opposite. 

For a moment, think about where agile originates. It developed to lean out (to make more efficient) systems of software development. The technology industry has clear deadlines, objectives and functions. No one hires software developers to create anything the developers like. Agile was conceived for business to be more efficient and flexible. 

The same need is true for a classroom. There is a scope and sequence that must be adhered to, standards to uphold, and a curriculum to be met. When students are given agency, they still have constraints, just like in the workplace. In an agile classroom, the students can choose freely within those constraints. 

In an agile classroom, the teacher poses an essential question. The question helps set…

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Jessica Cavallaro

As the co-founder of The Agile Mind and Chief Academic Officer of a pioneering online high school, Jessica Cavallaro is a key player in the educational revolution, infusing K-12 learning with Agile methodologies. Her 15-year tenure in education has been marked by a dedication to crafting meaningful educational experiences that drive classroom innovation and foster inquisitiveness. Jessica is dedicated to creating systems that enhance student autonomy, ensuring that every learner's voice is heard and valued. Beyond her educational leadership, Jessica is an esteemed keynote speaker, spreading her vision for transformative education and the critical role of flexibility in learning.