The Agile Roots
The soil we grow from is trust: in students, in each other, in you. The four assumptions that ground us are as follows:
1. Learning: Learning is natural. It’s happening all the time.
2. Self-Direction: People learn best when they make their own decisions. Children are people.
3. Experience: People learn more from their culture and environment than from the material they are taught. The medium is the message.
4. Success: Accomplishment is achieved through cycles of intention, creation, reflection, and sharing.
The ALC model was developed in New York City’s Agile Learning Center (formerly Manhattan Free School). They adapted leading-edge practices used in Agile Software Development and other “lean management” techniques. The model is optimized for ongoing evolution to keep pace with the changing needs of children today. In 2013, Nancy and a group of families started The Mosaic School as a democratic free school. In November of 2013, Nancy found the Agile Learning Center in Manhattan and saw how powerful these practices could be in her community. Throughout 2014, Mosaic gradually integrated the ALC tools and became the second school operating as an Agile Learning Center. The 2015-16 school year begins with a network of schools and homeschool communities, with locations in Manhattan, Charlotte, Asheville, Cupey, PR, and Oahu, Hi.
The Agile Cycle of Learning
What do you want to accomplish today?
In an Agile Learning Community, we discern and articulate what we want to do, individually and as a group.
What are you going to do about it?
Agile Learners spend their days exploring and inventing – once we know what we want, we create it.
What did you learn from your choices?
Looking back, we develop awareness of what worked and what didn’t, so we can move forward more powerfully.
How can you share it with the world?
We document our work to record, exhibit, and share our experience with others.
We prepare young people for the world they are growing up into by empowering them to actively create it.
We use leading edge tools and culture creation practices to provide students with the maximal support with minimal interference.
We are active collaborators in the ALC Network. We aren’t in this game alone! Check out the growing network of ALCs.