Generally people remember stories and much of children’s play involves taking on a persona. Conveniently, many courses involve multiple units, thus allowing multiple rounds of “play” and “identity” for students. The stories they make need to be thoughtful and challenging enough that students successfully complete the “Hero’s Journey,” with a healthy sense of being uplifted by the challenges encountered on the way. This is quite doable with a thoughtful implementation of an Agile Kickoff process. One of my favorite books on this subject is in the resources below.
Helpful feedback has little to do with what the teacher thinks, for example the pre-supposition the teacher makes about the outcomes of student projects, and is much more about developing an openness to what actually works and what others like, without an absolute truth either stated or implied by the curriculum. Let the students decide what to do by emphasizing these two types of feedback: - Natural feedback - Collaborative feedback
We as teachers are so used to making each instructional minute count that we seldom provide slack time. We define slack as space in the curriculum in which students need to go through the process of determining their next logical steps. The process requires patience on the part of teachers and the qualities of curiosity and responsibility on the part of students. Teacher patience, because slack can look like wasted time (we do not think it is!) and curiosity and responsibility, because learning is ultimately up to the student. We often, traditionally, speed things up by reducing variables, declaring exactly what step comes next, cleaning the learning path up, and holding students’ hands. But we should perhaps let them struggle through the process a whole lot more.
Agility is an umbrella term for a number of working practices. In essence, agility seeks productivity and timeliness through regular feedback - and the ongoing adjustments that the feedback suggests - in short iterations of work. The parallel with education is straightforward. Good instruction makes regular use of feedback so that students, working in short cycles, are constantly refining and improving their thinking and work.