Putting Entrepreneurship on the Curriculum

It is time to shake up education systems around the world and put social entrepreneurship on the curriculum, concludes new thought-provoking report.

The United Nations’ 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights explicitly recognises ‘education’ as a human right. Few would argue against this notion, however fierce debates have emerged regarding the higher purpose of education.

Education is considered one of the fundamental pillars of a healthy society, but how do we measure the success of an educational system? Is it based on:

  • attainment;
  • employability;
  • citizenship;
  • self-determination; or,
  • human advancement?

At this year’s UKFIET conference on Learning and Teaching for Sustainable Development at Oxford, the British Council launched a thought provoking opinion piece – titled ‘Social entrepreneurship in education’ – to discuss these questions. The report, which was also showcased at SOCAP in California this month, concludes that the introduction of social entrepreneurship into educational systems could be a necessary radical reform that will better prepare children to meet the pressing social and environmental challenges that face high and low and middle-income countries alike.

Lindsay Hall is the CEO of Real Ideas Organisation (RIO), which is an early adopter of the concept of embedding social entrepreneurship education into curriculums. She reflects on the education system in England, where RIO is based: “There’s a definite move away from coursework, from any of the more practical stuff.”

RIO has worked with over 350 schools, including Victoria Park Primary Academy in the West Midlands, to embed the principles of social enterprise into the curriculum. For example, Victoria Park Primary has a social enterprise lead, who is responsible for driving social enterprise activity throughout the whole school and leading the school’s own social enterprise.

Called Ballot Street Spice, this social enterprise was launched in 2014 and sells unique spice blends. Students, parents, the school’s staff and members of the community are all involved in the business – making decisions and marketing it to the wider community.

Hall believes that operating social enterprises within schools “is a very practical way for parents and lots of community members to get involved” in young people’s educational experience. There is increasingly “recognition from schools that if you’re going to have successful outcomes in children and young people, it is the whole community that creates that.”

More at https://www.pioneerspost.com/news-views/20171030/education-system-shake-putting-entrepreneurship-on-the-curriculum