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Posts Tagged ‘enterprise education’

  1. Business Savvy Girls

    28 January 2019 by shartley

    L-R: Jenny, Alexia, Lara, Shani, Zoe, Bella and Vivian

    I have known Jenny since we were five years old, when a little over a kilometre separated our houses on the edge of Wagga Wagga. We were best friends or worst enemies throughout our schooling due to our similarities and competitive streaks. After school we went our separate ways but over time our similarities have brought us together again. Jenny is passionate about financial literacy, particularly for women and children. I am passionate about improving the agency of young people by empowering them with a range of skills to navigate their path in the world. I am so pleased Jenny asked me (as part of my Think Learn Act business) to help her produce the Business Savvy Girls Workshop, which we conducted over the last three days of this week (23-25 Jan 2019). The program was designed for young women to discover and develop their passions, skills and attributes to build a business idea upon. We based it loosely on the Design Thinking model and used the Lean Canvas template for fleshing out their business concepts further. Activities included business idea prompts, creating an example of a customer (drawn, named and given characteristics) and website development. We discussed legal requirements, networking and promotional activities. The three days culminated with our participants presenting three minute business pitches at a lunch with a number of local business women who provided wonderful advice, guidance and encouragement.

    Zoe understood and grasped the pitch concept quickly and well

    Alexia, Bella, Lara, Vivian and Zoe are amazing young ladies who invested time and energy from 9am to 4pm each day with only two half hour breaks on the first two days and no breaks on the last day. The air conditioner struggled to process the near constant 40℃ outside. Alexia was already on the business path with her business, Dislexia, running on a Facebook page. The business name is a play on her name but after choosing it found she was indeed dyslexic and had misspelt it. During the workshop she started designing a logo with the D back to front in Canva’s logo design tool. She has plans for major expansion and diversions. The youngest, aged 12, was already running an online business with her Dad but came up with her own ideas and extra confidence through the workshop. Common across the ideas being developed at the workshop was concern for community, communication and the more disadvantaged in society. These young women are definitely social entrepreneurs, very focused on developing businesses with a conscience.

    Meghan shows cattle and needs to look good from the showground to formal dinners.
    Her jewellery needs to be cheap and preferably environmentally friendly.
    The vision is for scrap bale twine to be melted down and made into jewellery through a 3D printer.

    The participants did a two minute pitch before lunch on the first day but most only reached a minute or so and were pretty laid back. Twenty-four hours later they did a second attempt. They were visibly more nervous in manner but the business ideas and depth of information provided had much improved. One went for the full two minutes. I provided a rough scaffold to refine the approach: outline the customer and the problem(s) they face, describe how the business will solve the problem(s) and have strong branding (what the business stands for). On the last day they had three hours to finalise their Lean Canvas sheets and a three minute pitch. One of the participants had a reasonable business idea the previous day but at the start of the final day she apologetically confessed to having changed her approach somewhat. She had gone home and thought more about her passions, applied them to her business and ended up with a brilliant concept. I was so proud. I was proud of all of them.

    Deep thinking

    We didn’t time the pitches to the business women but they were all on the money. Not only that, the questions posed by the business women didn’t seem to faze them. They knew their concepts thoroughly and provided thoughtful and intelligent responses. They were open to suggestions and after the formal session was over, talked further with the experienced and wise. The business women gradually and reluctantly left, blown away not only by the business ideas, but the hearts and minds of those who held them.

    For me, it was such a joyful experience to see the growth and development of our young women. On a more personal note, it seemed my friendship with Jenny that commenced when we were five had completed a full circle. Even though we both have a lot going on in our lives, we worked seamlessly together on this workshop. At the beginning of the week I found out that I wasn’t awarded a scholarship for the PhD I commence this year when I felt quite certain I had achieved enough to receive it. My husband and I are also struggling to finance a house we are contracted to buy, despite achieving pre-approval for the amount we require. However, Jenny went through the last days of her mother’s life this week. Her Mum passed away peacefully as the family sat around in vigil in the early hours of Friday morning. Yet, Jenny only missed a couple of hours on the Thursday afternoon and the Friday morning of the workshop due to the importance she places on empowering young women. Working together this week was meant to be.

    Many thanks to the Agritech Incubator at Charles Sturt University, particularly Siobhain Howard, for hosting us and providing food and other forms of support. Also much appreciation to our business women, Emma GrantLeonie McCallum, Lauren EcclestonPennie ScottVickie Burkinshaw and Anne Reardon of Allegro Ballet School. 

    NB This post also appears on my more personal blog: https://squibsandsagas.blogspot.com/2019/01/business-savvy-girls.html


  2. A PIECE of ISBE 2018

    11 November 2018 by shartley

    7-8 November ISBE Conference

    My first communication outside the Twitterverse with Dr Colin Jones was an hour long phone conversation back in March or April about my MRES topic. When I mentioned I was presenting on Enterprise Education (EE) in Cologne, he suggested I also attend the ISBE conference in Birmingham the following week, since I was in the area. At the conference, Colin introduced me to his friends/contacts which led to many interesting conversations. We also had time to continue our discussions about EE and my possible research focus, which were extremely valuable and enjoyable.

    Anyway, here’s A PIECE of what I appreciated most from the conference.

     

    ACTIVITY

    I enjoyed the idea Dr David Higgins presented about the need for EE to be researched as an activity (verb) and our own involvement, as opposed to the clinical scientific arms-length approach that describes human activity in concrete terms (nouns) instead of their actions/emotions/motivations/thinking/etc .

     

    PEOPLE

    People I knew via Twitter came to life at the conference:

    Dr Kelly Smith – I love how passionate she is about EE  and she introduced me to the term Pracademic.

    Andrea Lane – a knowledgable and thoughtful person who makes me think deeper.

    Matt Rogers-Draycott – Matt first came to my attention just a few months ago when I read an older article he co-authored. I did a series of tweets about it because I just love his thinking and approach to EE.   

    Catherine Brentnall – I had a few but brief chats with Catherine at the conference. She didn’t have much luck while she was there. For instance, a taxi driver took her to McDonalds for the Gala Dinner instead of the Macdonald Burlington Hotel and she had a tummy bug on the last day resulting in her having to leave as soon as she presented her paper. However, I’m sure this friendship will continue to grow over Twitter.

    Prof Nigel Adams – In discussion on the walk to and during the gala dinner, Nigel reminded me of ‘Doc’ in Back to the Future due to his intelligence, passion and eccentric mannerisms. He even showed me video of him riding an electronic skateboard owned by one of his students.

    Will Hogan and Peter Harrington of SimVenture – I met these two at the gala dinner. We then continued talking to after midnight at the hotel bar.

     

    INTERSECTIONS

    Unfortunately I missed Lucy Hatt’s presentation, mainly because it wasn’t in the Enterprise Education stream. We follow each other on Twitter and had chatted briefly at the conference. At lunch on the second day, Lucy and Colin talked intensely and deeply about her concept of intersections in the student’s entrepreneurial journey, while I listened in. Colin was adding to it by saying the role of the teacher is to be at some of those intersections and work out what the student needs to help the student choose the path from that point. I also recommend following Lucy’s excellent reflection blog about her PhD process and progress.

     

    ECHO-CHAMBER

    During one of breaks, Andrea and I talked about a range of EE topics, including the echo chamber of EE, particularly that it often echoes theoretical papers more than empirical research. Lo and behold, the very next talk by Catherine and David was about the need to break out of the echo chamber and include more philosophy in the EE field.

     

    ECOSYSTEM

    I have been considering some sort of organisational theory/ies for my PhD. I was reminded by Dr Su-Hyun Berg and Prof Jay Mitra’s presentation of an ecosystem approach. I’m a little wary though, because sometimes ecosystem is a bit of a buzzword in EE literature. On the last night Su-Hyun, Jay, Colin and I went for a drink. Jay and Colin regaled us with conference stories and I learned how Su-Hyun moved from Korea to Germany 14 years ago and after two years of resisting the German language, gave in and now speaks it fluently.

     

    This is just A PIECE of what the two days of conference gave me. Now, as I enter the solo holiday part of my trip, I need to write my PhD EOI/proposal which has been informed and confused by the ever-increasing number of EE concepts that have been brought to my attention.


  3. 12 Golden Nuggets from Practical Pedagogies

    4 November 2018 by shartley

    Image courtesy of Practical Pedagogies via a tweet

    Look! Look! Look!

    I can see hundreds of teachers voluntarily gathering for the sharing of pedagogical ideas. I can hear a cacophony of accents as they chatter earnestly making new connections and friends. I see Russel Tarr, one of the first few international connections I made on Twitter nearly 10 years ago. He organised this conference at St. Georges’ School, Cologne, from Toulouse, in his spare time. I have found Russel to be deeply intelligent, skilful and passionate about education and continuous learning. Through this conference he has also demonstrated how incredibly organised he is too.

    Look! Look! Look!

    I can see a pumpkin patch of golden nuggets. I’ll list 12 of the biggest and brightest nuggets from the conference in a rough chronological order:

      1. I met Jared, a science teacher from North Carolina, USA, when we sat down for the opening of the conference. He has a delightful American drawl and repeatedly called me ma’am which was equally uncomfortable and endearing. His commitment to teaching and life in general made a warm golden moment to start the conference.
      2. Hywel Roberts‘ opening address. I had spent the previous couple of weeks reading Hywel’s book Oops! in preparation. Unfortunately, I wasn’t that fond of the book since I felt it to be a little patronising but in person Hywel was very entertaining. I laughed often and loudly. After a while his educomedy style felt like it was going too long and I became silently critical of the lack of substance. He must have read my mind because he reassured the audience that substance was coming soon. And it did. His message about narrative and story-telling (Look! Look! Look! I can see…) through relationships with students provided a good reminder of the joy and wonder teaching and learning can create. I also liked his three key words:
        • Imagineering (aka VISION – visionary teacher): Thinking and planning for teaching to make curriculum palatable without dumbing it down. This takes professional imagination which unfortunately can often be eroded over time.
        • Botheredness  (aka MISSION – caring teacher): Demonstrating authentic care, being the caring adult (not at war with children) and building botheredness in students for the work they’re doing in class 
        • Phronesis (aka VALUES – wise teacher): professional wisdom 
      3. An Action Research Observation Sheet from a session led by Liz Free could be useful for my PhD research.
      4. Dominic Tremblay (not @DomTrem or @DominicTremblay on Twitter – I found out the hard way) presented a system he has implemented in many schools called Follow the Money.  I loved his enthusiasm and he had some wonderful ideas for teaching student financial concepts in a really active way. I just have concerns about the extent to which the program in full implementation is so fully steeped in capitalist values. For example, charging students a fee for using a paintbrush that is refunded upon return of a clean brush in good condition may work against attempts to instil good values for the sake of good relations, community and society. I have seen research that suggests as soon as childcare centres start charging parents for late collection of children it leads to increases in how often and how late parents are to pick up their children because of the transaction value placed upon it instead of values of respect and consideration.
      5. Dominic also demonstrated how to use the Post-it Plus App. A tool I’m sure to use in the near future.
      6. I loved the workshop by Joanna Norton because she looks at the world with such an artistic and creative eye, different to the more linear and ordered way I do. She provided lots of ideas and food for thought. Some divergent thinking too. I particularly love the idea of bringing books into class to peruse with QR codes of Questions. 
      7. I ran into Mariusz Galczyński at various times over the two days of the conference but it was the bus ride from the school to the city at the end of the first day during which we discussed education and politics extensively in the 20-30 minute trip that was the highlight. This is another connection I hope to maintain well into the future.
      8. I stand by my tweet about Jennifer Webb‘s presentation. Probably my favourite session. I nearly didn’t go to this session because I have a really lovely friend, Jen Webb, and I was scared that the name would be tarnished but no, the name still stands for people who are gorgeous, lovely and caring.
      9. Neil Atkin took us on a journey of emotional states and thinking flaws. He introduced me to the McGurk effect (YT video below) and Brain Rules by John Medina. 
      10. When I first discovered someone else was presenting on Enterprise Education at Practical Pedagogies my imposter syndrome kicked in, making me worry I’d be showed up as an amateur in the area. Instead, I have a new connection and friend in Rachel of Enabling Enterprise (aka Skills Builder). Enabling Enterprise provides standards/criteria for essential skills at a range of levels, an area my research is lacking at the moment. I will definitely be investigating further.
      11. My own presentation. Russel had asked presenters for preferences regarding when we ran our workshops. I said I didn’t but when I found out I was scheduled for the last session, I realised I did. Not last! As it was, it was good to see Rachel’s presentation first and even though we are conceptually similar we hardly overlapped in what we actually presented. I was horrified by a couple of shortfalls in my slideshow (now rectified) but at least the flaws helped to determine which bits I needed to skip since I was very aware I had too much for the hour and ten minutes we had. A last minute inclusion was the use of Lotus Charts, introduced to me by friend and former colleague, Kendra. Russel, with camera in hand, walked in as I was introducing Lotus Charts. He was pleased to have come at a point where he learned something new. It was also a hit with the participants, resulting in a few Tweets. I think overall my presentation went well.
      12. Cologne itself. The pubs and their 200ml glasses of beers that just keep coming were loud and fun. The cathedral is an imposing sight near the main railway station and opposite our hotel. Apparently it took over 600 years to build. It is one of hundreds of churches in Cologne. There’s a saying that you could go to a different church for every day of the year in Cologne. There is also a Chocolate Museum in Cologne that provides a history and manufacturing process of chocolate with some tasting to be had. When I was there numerous school groups were going through, giving me flashbacks to the stress of running excursions. There are also numerous art museums that time didn’t permit us to visit. Next time.


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