“The modern world shapes a new work ethics that assumes teamwork, active participation in community life, defining problems in terms of collaboration and finding meaning in multitudes of perspectives. The need for self-fulfilment is becoming the most important factor in career development, but to fulfil oneself means not so much to be an autonomous person as to be oriented toward others. … these characteristics of the modern world that enable a person to build his or her own life within the framework of relations with others are taking on a practical dimension”.
/A. Paszkowska-Rogacz, M. Tarkowska, Metody pracy z grupą w poradnictwie zawodowym (Methods of Working with Groups in Providing Vocational Advice)/
Which factors support the undertaking of social/entrepreneurial projects by students?
How does the Polish education system teach competences such as creativity, the ability to analyse problems and teamwork, which are required in the process of creating innovation?
Source of problem: the low number of projects initiated and implemented by students within the local community and for its benefit.
Study objective: enhancing the competences related to innovation and entrepreneurship in students (mainly lower and upper secondary school ones)
Problem description: A gradual increase in initiatives undertaken by students can be observed, but it appears that these are most frequently induced by the activity of the school or teachers in this respect. The high number of various competitions, projects and programmes targeted at students often makes them participants and co-authors of such undertakings, but there is an impression that students treat these events incidentally – they need them when their activity is being graded but they feel no spontaneous yearning to enhance their competences. Second, students usually participate in these events because they are “rewarded” – there is no perception that the road/process leading to success is a success in itself.
It seems that school should be a place where students can engage in various activities on the basis of the possibilities they discover and good ideas they come up with, particularly where those are valuable for others, since in this manner, two important key competences (innovativeness and entrepreneurship) are shaped. In order for these to be reinforced, students need to master certain personal skills such as e.g. communication, group work, project-based work or business knowledge. The objective of modern education should be to indicate such projects so that students not only reinforce their skills through practical activities, but are also well-prepared to face professional challenges. This also contributes to encouraging conscious, continuous self-development throughout their lives.
Currently, the market economy forces people to be oriented towards entrepreneurship. It demands that they are open to knowledge and learn all their lives, and that they are able to set themselves objectives and achieve them in a competent manner. They have to exhibit responsibility, creativity and initiative. Not everyone is born to act. The important thing is to be open to learning, and this can be learned.
Pilot Project Objectives:
- enhancing the competences related to innovation and entrepreneurship among students (mainly lower and upper secondary school ones);
- integrating student activities with the creative industry, which promotes talent, a passion for learning, imagination, creativity and entrepreneurship;
- practical process walk-through: from idea to implementation.
- students learning business mechanisms;
- drawing up a business plan for the project;
- getting partners/sponsors to act;
- the implementation of a local project by the group;
- drawing up a report containing a description of the activity;
- obtaining knowledge on why we succeeded or why we did not succeed;
- a feeling of satisfaction that my personal/student activities contributed to integrating the local community.
- universal, targeted primarily at lower secondary and upper secondary schools in Poland via PSK, BC and regional education authority websites;
- a minimum of 100 and a maximum of 150 student groups;
- using application forms including descriptions of plans for local activities;
- with an indication that the top award within the framework of the programme will be symbolic: self-fulfilment by reinforcing innovativeness and entrepreneurship competences;
- 100–150 schools from all over Poland;
- 100–150 student groups from all over Poland;
- 100–150 teachers/group tutors from all over Poland.
- school and local communities;
- social partners;
- educational decision-makers.
May, June 2013 – preparing the application form and the group to coordinate the pilot stage of the project;
May, June 2013 – preparing the “Creativity Training” module for teachers – tutors of groups participating in the competition;
May, June and September 2013 – announcing the competition, receiving applications, verifying applications, preparing the list of groups participating in the project;
October 2013 – meeting and training teachers/student group tutors, defining collaboration rules, creating a communication tool;
October 2013 – April 2014 – student activities in local communities;
June 2014 – project summary, presenting student activities;
July, August 2014 – project evaluation, drawing up the report.
- bank of good student practices;
- a report based on project evaluation.
Research tools that may be used during the pilot stage:
- Application form
- Diagnostic questionnaire for student groups selected for the pilot stage: “School as the place for developing the competences of innovation and entrepreneurship”
- Photographic evaluation (for students)
- Interview with students
- Interview with teachers
- Interview with partners
- Local project observation
- Evaluation questionnaires for students, teachers and possibly partners of local projects
- the analysis of data collected during the pilot stage;
- the preparation of a report with conclusions and recommendations.