The Dayton Practice

The Dayton Practice is a framework that adapted Agile Practices to the classroom. It was developed by a team of teachers at Dayton working with industry agilists.

This framework uses short, tight Learning Cycles that provide a clear purpose for the learning.

This learning model challenges students to find connections between two diverse topics, synthesize meaning from those connections, and then communicate that new understanding to others.

Each sprint challenges students to become more proficient as meaning-makers and storytellers. It is also a practice that helps them to become creative polymaths that are increasingly empowered.

A practice that emulates the essence of Leonardo da Vinci’s greatness.

The sprints begin with students being given their ‘base’ topic and randomly choosing a ‘scrambler’ topic. All teams have the same base, but different scramblers. For instance, a base might be ‘art’ with one team having a scrambler of ‘psychology’ while another team has ‘sports’.

The students then launch into a two to three-week sprint that has three primary experiences:

* Researching * Creating * Sharing

**Researching** After the teams are given their topics, they entered the Rabbit Hole Research phase. There they research both topics and discover connections between them.

To help assist this process, they could also begin this research journey from a personal perspective that challenges them to connect one of their passions, or a project they would like to make, to these topics.

**Creating** Once the students have done their research and discovered the connections between their base and scrambler topics, they are challenged to create a project that illustrates this new understanding.

**Sharing** For students to have true learning agency, they must also become good communicators and teachers. The In & Out Demo gives students that opportunity. This fast-paced exercise challenges students to use their creation to convey concisely the meaning of their learning to others.

After every sprint cycle, the class held a Retrospective that allows them to reflect on this experience and helps shape the next sprint.

Through these experiences, trusted learning communities are built, ones that continue to amaze as they unleash the creative genius hidden within each student – and in each teacher.

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