Developing collaborative approaches to learning about business
Designed into these learning stories:
As the fallout of the financial crisis is set to continue, many EU countries are facing massive debts and high spending cuts, which is affecting the job market and decreasing young people’s chances of employment. This activity will support students to develop collaborative approaches to business and to gain practical experience of setting up and developing a business idea.
I design activities through which my students can identify a business idea and together we map it onto the school curriculum. We then develop creative ways to address and work towards this idea. Students choose one or more business ideas in which they are interested and that support development of their entrepreneurial skills and knowledge through real-life, authentic tasks (eg designing new products or setting up a service). I also explore the cross-curricular potential of these activities because the business idea includes tasks from a range of subjects, including data analysis (eg supply and demand), marketing, business planning and writing.
Throughout the activity I take the role of facilitator and business consultant. My students and I set up a virtual ‘hatchery’ where the students can develop, share and nurture the ideas they want to ‘hatch’. In the past, I have created a hatchery in a corner of my classroom where ideas are shared with post-it notes and I have also used a virtual space on the school intranet. We have led the development of a local bank of ‘ambassadors’, which consists of parents, local businesses, and schools who will support the students in their projects. Students ideally also access a support network of internationally based peers and experts via an online community and a series of webinars and events. With the guidance of and external experts, peers and me, students build on the initial challenge and bring it to a conclusion as agreed with me as the teacher. Students present their results to a panel of ambassadors and to the online community for feedback and ideas for further development.
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