What We Value and What We Value More

"…while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more."

It's easy to misread or misinterpret the Agile philosophy. So many issues in our lives are pro-and-con, us-vs-them, one-or-the-other. But Agile is a kind of "have your cake and get your favorite flavor, too" approach. And this may be one key to its enduring success.

Agile doesn't say that some things are great and other things are awful. It says that Agile practitioners recognize value in many things but have found that some are more valuable than others.

Agile is not an "either-or" approach; it's an "and". It just helps us prioritize which part of the "and" we want to rely on to create the greatest value.

Agile is a values-based approach to decision making. And it's explicit about what its values are. There is no litmus test for agility. Agile is not a club the one can qualify for or be excluded from. The question isn't, "How Agile are we?" but "How are we Agile?" In this sense, the goal of agility—be it personal agility or professional agility—is always an opportunity for improvement.

The Agile Schools Manifesto, like any manifesto, is a personal statement of belief. But in this case, it's also a tool for asserting those beliefs in one's life and work.


Add your feedback below. To keep track of who is saying what, use an H1 tag (a plus sign "+" in the edit window) to identify yourself. For example:

Steve Peha

I'll admit that I'm not a very decisive person. I often get caught up in pondering the permutations when I should decide, see what happens next, decide again, and so on. I feel that Agile gives me a lot of support in this area.

The Agile Schools Manifesto also gives me a lot of validation for much of the success I've had while not following the rules of traditional teaching. At first, I thought the Manifesto was telling me I could drop educational traditions, like planning, altogether. But I realized I was reading it wrong. I now see that it gives me a way of staying in balance—as long as I don't have to have a 50/50 balance, that is.

Education can be very rigid in its prescriptions. Agile seems less so, even though, technically, it asks us to work a little harder to figure things out before we act. I don't think this is a bad trade, though. It's sort of like trading a little time up front for a big savings in efficiency at the end.

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