The Core of Agile in Education


We formally introduced EDgility in our chapter Getting Agile at School in Agile and Lean Concepts for Teaching and Learning, four of us, all working at LAS at the time, presented what we felt were the central tenets, for us, of an agile mindset in education.

We expanded on the core by describing ten practices of the agile mindset. Drawing on early presentations of agility, particularly the Agile Manifesto, we thought that if educators were aware of certain thinking associated with agility, they could, when given the choice, do a little more of this over that. For example, when presented with the opportunity to structure work, teachers could aim for collaboration instead of go-it-alone mindset; when creating class rituals, teachers could aim for a bit more trust than control, and so on.

Below is the core, as we conceptualized it in 2019, and the ten practices. Note that even in the article we suggest we may have missed some key practices. But we think these ten do a fairly good job of getting one started in a fresh mindset about education.


These are our values, the core of the mindset we’re working toward:

  • EXPLORATION - Exploration and play over tests and perfection;
  • GROWTH - Growth and rework over assessment reports without corresponding mechanisms to improve identified weaknesses;
  • SELF-REGULATION - Student-driven reflection and improvement over teacher directives; and
  • LIFE WORTHY LEARNING - Learning that supports additional learning over detailed course content.


  • EXPLORATION - Exploration over fixed content
  • GROWTH MINDSET - Growth over stasis
  • TRUST - Self-regulation over teacher control
  • TRANSPARENCY - Visibility over obscurity
  • ADAPTABILITY - Flexibility over rigidity
  • SMALLIFY - Quick, workable iterations and feedback over big plans
  • VALUE - Valuable learning over convenient assessments
  • COLLABORATION - Working together over competing against
  • REDO - Reflection and progress over right and done
  • UPLIFT - Problems as opportunity over problems as problems

Examples of each of these practices can be found in ​EDgility: Pulling Agile in Education currently in review for the book Agile Education, Lean Learning.

Professional Learning

EDgility Professional Learning invites teachers to choose two of the practices in a largely self-directed process and follow the below instructions:

  1. Select one ​EDgility practice that was successful in the past few weeks.
  2. Select one ​EDgility practice that was difficult in the past few weeks.
  3. As a reminder, put these in a visible place before and during lessons.
  4. Notice how the two practices are going during the teaching day.
  5. After several days, or when the time is right, write a short vignette about a time in class when each ​EDgility practice was working well.
  6. Have a conversation about the vignettes with a colleague.


Magnuson, P., Tihen, B. Cosgrove, C, & Patton, D. (2019). Getting Agile at School. In Agile and Lean Concepts for Teaching and Learning. Parsons, D. & MacCallum, K. (Eds.). Singapore: Springer.