The Paradigm Shifters: Entrepreneurial learning in schools initiative was about helping students think more like an entrepreneur - to be curious, try to identify and solve problems or respond to opportunities, creating value or benefit to others.
What students did
Students and teachers worked together in school action teams to identify issues or opportunities and come up with responses. Some examples were tackling a lack of school spirit, addressing an unmet need in the local community and redesigning work experience. The solution was their 'product' and this included services, programs and events. Students could experiment with different ideas, sharing these with other students and schools at learning workshops, usually held once a term. They used Yong Zhao's three principles of entrepreneurial learning to guide their projects.
What students said
“The biggest surprise for me is how much the perspective, the total atmosphere had changed [as part of this initiative] … Students were so involved, they were enthusiastic and enjoying it.” Student, F, Vic.
“I think the teachers are under the impression that they need to direct a whole lot of our curriculum. But there is a lot of areas where I reckon teachers could just give us like freedom in it and we will – it might not always work out, but if it does it will work in to something really unique and really original.” Student, M, Vic.
“… just think everything that you do during a project like this, it's all for your benefit, so you should take advantage of it. Like, any mistake that you make isn't going to be costly; it's just going to improve you as a person … because the next time it happens you're going to know what to do." Student, M, NSW,