The American History Museum was a success. Given true agency in their education the students created their own hands on interactive museum in both a in person and virtual form. All students could learn American history through the work of their peers.
After two days of touring the museum, playing, interacting and learning the group had participated in a unique experience of covering the scope of sequence of an entire year of history in 5 weeks.
The outward appearance is one of success, but that is not how we really measure learning and skill development. To really know if students learned and found this experience worthwhile they need to reflect. The retrospectives and reflections that the students have done this year is how we truly know this experiment in agile was working.
The students always complete a guided reflection after each project and the end of each quarter. The retrospective has students focus on how they worked during the project. They have to concentrate on collaboration, communication, over coming obstacles and the work done during the project. The second reflection is more personal. It is about how they measure their skill development and learning during the course of the quarter.
Immediately after the museum the students are tasked with completing their retrospective. The sooner after the experience the better.
The directions are remained consistent during the year and all of the retrospectives and reflections are kept in their digital journals to use are a reflective resource.
I can tell you that my experience with agile was a success. I can tell you that my students had deeper levels of learning with greater ability to make connections that was driven by student agency. I can tell you anything… but the real proof is in the students words. Here are the retrospectives from the American History Museum Project. All in the words of 8th graders.