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Scrum In Schools

by Dan Mezick on Jul 16, 2010 |

Scrum is gaining traction outside of information technology. The Scrum in Schools project is a grassroots effort to bring a free, age-appropriate Scrum curriculum to educators throughout the world.

Scrum in Schools

The Scrum in Schools effort is an initiative that brings Scrum to every school in the world for free. The idea is that the kids can in turn bring Scrum to every team and every organization that they become a part of. This means the band, the hockey team, project groups, the college they attend, THE ORGANIZATIONS they ultimately inhabit across an entire career of working.

Scrum in Schools is an initiative to create a curriculum for teaching Scrum in schools, to kids all around the world who go to school. Michael de la Maza is the person behind this powerful idea and the person to contact about it.

According to Michael,

The immediate intention is to work with a group of educators and Scrum consultants to create a Scrum-in- Schools curriculum, which educators around the world can implement.

The wider vision is a world where kids across world learn about Scrum-- in school. They work it, they do it, and they take it with them to college and beyond.

The mechanics include creating a curriculum, and making it free to the world. The desired end result is a better world through kids that know and use Scrum, to clarify work and focus on teams and teamwork.

The Agile Boston User Group is holding a meeting on 7/28 and educators interested in this initiative are invited to attend and meet with the Scrum-in-Schools organizers. The organizers are actively seeking 10 educators to help shape, validate and present the Scrum-in-Schools curriculum.

The Scrum Alliance is offering some support, in the form of valuable Scrum training to the teachers that commit to the initiative.

Scrum in Schools has a wide-scope, longer-term intention and vision. According to Michael de la Maza,

I believe that the most effective way to "Change the world of work" is to introduce Scrum before people start working. Hence, developing a program for kids is critical to the success of Scrum Alliance's mission. Ten years from now Scrum might be taught by educators worldwide.

Teachers who are interested in commiting some time and energy this initiative are encouraged to attend the 7/28 meeting of the Agile Boston user group to meet the organizers and discuss next steps.

"Teacher" as described means a person teaching grades 7-and-up in any accredited school. While the epicenter of the initiave is Boston Massachusetts, where an interested teacher is from does not matter.

The Scrum Alliance is providing support in the form of complimentary training, in Boston, for teachers who commit to helping with the kick-off of this effort. This means the teachers involved get a FREE Certified Scrum Master class.

Teachers who commit to Scrum-in-Schools are actually committing to the following duties and obligations:

1. Contacting the organizers and if possible, showing up at the July 28 meeting of Agile Boston to discuss this initiative with some of the organizers;

2. Attending a free Certified Scrum Master class;

3. Doing self-study on Scrum;

4. Providing their best ideas on curriculum design;

5. Reviewing the work-in-progress (the curriculum) as it emerges;

6. Conducting a pilot course with some kids and report the results.

The work is about Scrum, so those involved can expect to use incremental, iterative technques (Scrum itself) to execute on all this work, with the leaders guiding, as the project takes shape.

 

The Product Backlog

Here is the current, high-level backlog for the Scrum-in-Schools project:

 

As a teacher, I want to be able to download lesson plans and materials for the sessions.

As a teacher, I want support in learning how to use the curriculum.

As a teacher, I want to learn how I can use Scrum to teach more effectively.

As a student, I want material that supports my learning needs.

As a student, I want to learn more effectively.

As a student, I want to organize my work more effectively.

As a student, I want to be taught in a wonderful way.

As a student, I want to learn how to communicate through conflict.

As a student, I want to learn how to manage my time.

As a student, I want to learn how to be open about my feelings and needs.

As a student, I want to learn how to ask for help and not be afraid of doing so.

As a student, I want to use my creativity to explore possible solutions to problems I encounter.

As a student, I want to learn how to reflect effectively on decisions I have made.

 

The Organizers

The organizers are Michael de la Maza, Gerry Kirk, Helen de la Maza and Dan Mezick. Michael de la Maza is a Boston-based Scrum professional. Gerry Kirk is an agile professional living in Ontario, who is pioneering the use of agile techniques in organizing intentional communities. Helen de la Maza is a teacher and K-12 education innovator located in California. Dan Mezick is an agile coach and instructor based in Connecticut.

Can the Scrum in Schools project  make a big impact? Those interested in asking specific questions about this grass-roots initiative may contact Scrum-in-Schools organizer Michael de la Maza by email.

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