dinsdag 17 september 2013

Jeff meets Ashram

Jeff Sutherland visit the Ashram College in Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherland.


The eduScrum team is making some remarkable progress. Lot’s of classes are fully running eduScrum at the Ashram college, the first teachers are trained and applying it outside the team and even some first schools outside the Ashram are implementing eduScrum. Gradually it is growing.

So we welcomed the request from Jeff Sutherland and JJ to visit the Ashram and see the results for themselves. It was a little early (school had just started for one week after the summerholidays), and the team was even a bit worried they could not show the energy and excitement that is going on in the classroom. But what a wonderful day it was. Willy prepared a great little program for Jeff and JJ to show them what they are doing.
 picture copyright Ashram college, do not reprint without permission.

We arrived early in Alphen, some time before first lessons, and, boy we were allowed to visit the teachersroom, now finally we know what is going on overthere (obviously being incrowd now, we will not tell you). We stepped into the Chemistry class of Willy, with Havo 3 (15 year olds) about to start.

First thing I noticed was the classroom had the studentdesks organised in little islands of 2 by 2. So half of them with the backs against the whiteboard in front of classroom, with the back against the teacher! Furthermore everywhere there seem to be examples of scrumboards in A0 paper flaps hanging in the classroom.

The students entered classroom quietly, taking their A0 paper flaps in groups and putting them on the wall with magnets. They sat down and waited for their fellow team members to join and started discussing-working with eachother, immediately……

All that time Jeff, JJ, Willy and myself were chatting with eachother, drinking our coffee. At some point for all groups, kids stood up and shared around the A0 paper flaps, obviously starting a standup meeting. We were all flabbergasted. At some moment Willy put us out of our total confusion: he did something special, knowing that Jeff would be coming he and the class did their utmost best to do the eduScrum planning in 2 lessons, instead of three. All making sure that they would be ready before the visit, and obviously succeeded. The Scrumboards all showed backlog with broken down tasks, estimiated and prioritized, a burndown chart and remarks on Definition of Done and Definition of Fun! Everybody knew what to do and just did it!

 Willy had the students standup if they had previous eduScum experience and half of the class stood up. We all joined, Jeff made a little introduction and explained some of the history of Scrum. We learned that most kids really found class more enjoyable, having less need of doing homework.

Class continued and kids continued to work by themselves, not being hindered at all by five adults just standing their in the classroom. Sometimes one of the kids would standup and ask a question to Willy, but they all seem to have an excellent idea of what to do next. Just before the end of the 45 minute lesson, Willy all made them aware of the end of the class. The kids stood up moved tasks around from open to in progress or done, making pictures with their phones. He told me that is the way they share what to do for homework. And off they were for the next class.
We saw another class going through planning poker, which I will describe later. It was in this class that Jeff wispered to me: “This is amazing. I have seen some Scrum in schools, but that was all about having students understanding Scrum and doing some project. This is all about changing the way one teaches” and I concluded he just realized what the board of the eduScrum foundation and friends of eduScrum have noticed that something new is going on. That Willy and the eduScrum team are really inventing some new way of teaching, together with the other teachers of the Ashram College something special is happening.
Ilja Heitlager, Posted on September 12, 2013

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