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Agile Pedagogy

Presenation for ECIS Tech Conference, ACS Cobham, 16th March 2013

Miles Berry

on 15 May 2014

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Transcript of Agile Pedagogy

Agile Pedagogies
Miles Berry
University of Roehampton



“Constructionism - the N word as opposed to the V word - shares contructivism’s view of learning as “building knowledge structures” through progressive internalization of actions... It then adds the idea that this happens especially felicitously in a context where the learner is consciously engaged in constructing a public entity, whether it’s a sand castle on the beach or a theory of the universe.
Papert, 1991
I love technology, and in the main I dive straight in head first. Instruction manuals are for wimps…I feel like I have failed as a technophile if I have to consult it! Throughout my life I have been fascinated by new technology, and the ways it can impact upon our lives. To be quite honest I don’t think I have ever really gained much from being sat down and taught how to use ICT or technology, in most ICT lessons at school I remember being taught things that I personally was very comfortable with already, and in some cases methods and programs that were obsolete.
For me, having an informed other to show you the basic ropes works best, after that there is nothing like a good old root around to increase the knowledge. Personally, I feel that the help buttons are always a good start when you are stuck, failing that, Google; there is always someone out there who can answer your question! I still remember someone telling me that it was really, really hard to break a computer through incompetence, and that little mantra has stayed with me ever since!
When I am learning a new ICT programme, I prefer to experiment with it first to see what I can work out for myself. I do this because the majority of the time I can work out the basics of the programme, without asking for help. If I do need help for more complicated tasks, I will usually ask someone.

I tended to use this approach during my Multimedia class at college, where I was forever being introduced to new media programmes. I used trial and error most of the time to see what the programme could do, this allowed me to use them reasonably well. If I need help I prefer visual demonstrations rather than brief verbal instructions.
Hoover and Ohineye, Apprenticeship Patterns
Papert, S. (1971) Teaching Children Thinking
call centre
design studio
Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer
through early and continuous delivery
of valuable software.

Welcome changing requirements, even late in
development. Agile processes harness change for
the customer's competitive advantage.

Deliver working software frequently, from a
couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a
preference to the shorter timescale.

Business people and developers must work
together daily throughout the project.

Build projects around motivated individuals.
Give them the environment and support they need,
and trust them to get the job done.

The most efficient and effective method of
conveying information to and within a development
team is face-to-face conversation.
Working software is the primary measure of progress.

Agile processes promote sustainable development.
The sponsors, developers, and users should be able
to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

Continuous attention to technical excellence
and good design enhances agility.

Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount
of work not done--is essential.

The best architectures, requirements, and designs
emerge from self-organizing teams.

At regular intervals, the team reflects on how
to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts
its behavior accordingly.
What teachers can learn from software developers
Teachers acting as design scientists would observe four basic precepts, to

1.  keep improving their practice,

2.  have a principled way of designing and testing improvements in practice,

3.  build on the work of others,

4.  represent and share their pedagogic practice, the outcomes they achieved, and how these related to the elements of their design.
Laurillard, 2012
Stay aware of what you're doing.

Don't code blindfolded.

Proceed from a plan.

Rely only on reliable things.

Document your assumptions.

Test assumptions as well as code.

Prioritize your effort.
Don't be a slave to history.

Is there an easier way?

Am I solving the right problem?

Why is this a problem?

What makes it hard?

Do I have to do it this way?

Does it have to be done at all?
I would describe programming as a craft, which is a kind of art, but not a fine art. Craft means making useful objects with perhaps decorative touches. Fine art means making things purely for their beauty
In the arts anything goes; the imperative is to create a powerful experience for the audience. That is not true for teaching; it must do more than that. It also has a formally defined goal. The imperative for teaching is that learners develop their personal knowledge and capabilities… It is closer to the kind of science, like engineering, computer science, or architecture, whose imperative it is to make the world a better place: a design science.
Laurillard, 2012
Craftsmanship is built upon strong relationships. Focus on delivering value to your customer over advancing your own self-interests.

As a craftsman you are primarily building something that serves the needs of others, not indulging in artistic expression.

Hoover and Oshineye, 2009
In many schools today, the phrase "computer-aided instruction" means making the computer teach the child. One might say the computer is being used to program the child. In my vision, the child programs the computer and, in doing so, both acquires a sense of mastery over a piece of the most modern and powerful technology and establishes an intimate contact with some of the deepest ideas from science, from mathematics, and from the art of intellectual model building.
Many teachers have told me how frustrating and stressful it is to work in an environment of constant change – and I know that this sense of powerlessness and uncertainty has a major impact on workforce wellbeing.

Indeed, one of my greatest concerns about the QCDA’s 2007 reforms was that they actively promoted a state of perpetual revolution, encouraging constant change by contextualising concepts against current events – which then become obsolete almost immediately.

This will not be true for the new curriculum.

Core knowledge, by its very definition, does not need to be repeatedly revised to reflect changing fashions, or new current affairs.

Instead, the new curriculum will focus on the fundamentals that will give children today (and tomorrow) the best possible start to their future.

And I will count it as a success when teachers are able actually to laminate their lesson plans and recycle them from September to September.

Nick Gibb, 2012
Pragmatic Programming
After Wenger, 1999
Papert, 1980
“It is by fixing things that we often get to understand how they work.”

Sennett, 2009
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