Agility and concept of agile project management in early childhood education –
Future excellence of teaching

Agility is the ability and willingness to learn from experiences and subsequently apply what you have learned to be successful in new situations. Every year the world and technological progress is growing, so I think we should also improve the current education system to enable a successful future for the teaching profession. Agility is a future topic for all areas of life, not only in terms of project management. Because in the age of agility, students as well as teachers and school systems need the ability to adapt to an ever-changing world.
Stacked books, an apple, pens and wooden blocks labelled A, B and C. [1]
Today we are discussing the scope of "agility" and its implementation in the early childhood education, mainly Montessori education. One thing we know of, is that the most important growth age of a child is from birth to six years of age; they are the buds of future; the real foundation should be built at this stage. So, if we can improve the teaching skills, the development of the kids will also improve significantly.

"If a project manager can beautify a project, and if a teacher can create the bud for future, then, in my opinion, by applying the best project management approaches, the use of agility can also create more beauty in the education system."

Four valuable suggestions for creating educational agility

Continuous planning and incremental development
In traditional project management, milestones are achieved one step at a time, in a sequential manner. However, to achieve the best and most fruitful result, we use agile project management. The same concept can be found in early childhood education: by continuously planning the gradual development of children, as Jean Piaget, a Swiss psychologist, explained in his "Theory of Cognitive Development". We can apply agility in the best possible way to the four phases of child development.
 
Fruitful process and fun-based learning according to Friedrich Froebel
Just as agile project management is a more interactive and transparent approach, in early childhood education we can also develop insights in teachers that are necessary for every child learning from their environment. During this time, children need a fun-based learning environment – this is also what is stated in the teaching model of early childhood education by Friedrich Froebel. This model was designed mainly to meet each child's needs for physical activity and to develop their sensory perception.
 
The concept of collaboration: "Reggio Emilia approach"
As project managers, we discuss with our team members on a weekly, or daily basis during sprints. And also, in schools we can have a joint brainstorming session to develop new innovative ideas for children. Collaboration is essential for a child's cognitive growth and development. Groups are fundamentally important, whether they are large or small, they encourage collaboration to solve problems. Dialogue, comparison, negotiation and similar creative techniques are used, which are essential for the development of future skills. The child should be competent, resourceful, curious, imaginative, inventive and possess a desire to interact and communicate with others.
 
Empowered decision-making, more creative and constructive thinking
As we know, we can learn many things from nature as well as from our daily lives. And so, apart from classroom education, a child can also learn from his practical experiences in his immediate environment and both teachers and parents can motivate children to do so. Instead of passively learning by receiving information, a child must be proactive, curious and want to explore with a constructive mentality. This is what John Dewey, an American philosopher, and Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, said. Learning is a natural and self-directed process and education is life itself.

Conclusion

For learning and realising things, we need a certain mindset. The agile methodology and the concept of "agility" offers a set of tools that a project manager as well as a teacher can make use of. For this we need both flexibility and speed. Learning "agility" holds motivational qualities and skills that we can fully utilise in early childhood education to teach valuable skills to our growing buds, our offspring.
 

Have you become interested in the topic of agile project management after reading how agility can be intertwined with the everyday practice of early childhood education? If you want to learn more about the theoretical approaches in agile project management, have a look at our Agile PM Guide 2.0.
And the best part? We are currently revising the Agile PM Guide 2.0 – the updated version will soon be available. Stay tuned!

To our certification basis in agile project management
About the author: Mahesh EV is a project manager with more than 11 years of practical experience and the Senior Official of the IAPM in the metropolitan regions of New Delhi, Trivandrum and Calicut, India. Mahesh's implementation of many procurement and construction projects has broadened his experience. He has demonstrated his skills in the successful planning and execution of several projects, such as thermal power plants and renewable energy projects across India – from kick-off to handover of the plant.
He is a member and volunteer of various international bodies like Axelos-UK, affiliated member in OCRM-UK and he is a content writer for the IAPM Network in East Java (Indonesia).

Key words: Agile project management, Psychology, Personal development

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