17 May Enterprise in schools
This time last year (while still in my previous position as a school head) I wrote about some initiatives that were underway in my school. My motivation for posting those blogs related to my belief that our teachers deserved a wider platform for their innovative work. I also wanted to help challenge the general idea that it is not possible to be innovative within our current schools system. I am sharing an edited version of one of those posts again now.
While there is little doubt that current curricula and assessment systems in schools would benefit from reform, there still exist opportunities for creativity, innovation and real-world learning within the current constraints. A number of actions in which our students were involved over the course of a single week, exemplified this.
On Monday 9th May guests were invited to a reception where the school’s business students presented project work they had undertaken based on a number of local enterprises. During the course of an afternoon, students discussed their completed research and findings with representatives of their chosen businesses.
On Monday evening the school’s Economics students were amongst the television audience for the live broadcast of a debate on the economic policies of the newly formed Irish government. Programme guests on the night included politicians and economists.
On Thursday 12th May, another group of Economics students paid a visit to Leinster House, as guests of one of the school’s past pupils who works with a newly elected Senator. As part of this visit, the students met a number Senators and TDs.
The above list is a sample of activities that were undertaken over one week by teachers of business. I know, because I had the pleasure of leading them over a decade, that these teachers operated the same way throughout each week of the year i.e. a programme of constant outreach and engagement and civic and political leaders and enterprise. They organised all of this while also delivering on high expectations for academic achievement. There are opportunities for innovation within nearly every curriculum and engaged teachers and motivated students seek them out.