Alakylän koulu, Finland
There is a strategy and action plan for each year concerning the overall development of the school, teachers and students activities as well. The student board has a very active role in school life and implements ideas during the whole school year.
Alakylän koulu (Alakylä School), Seinäjoki, applies the National Standard for Enterprise Education (University of Warwick). It is a very active school in sense of Entrepreneurship Education (EE also being one of cross-curricula themes in Finnish National curricula since 1994). It is a primary school of approximately 350 pupils. The Headmaster is Mr. Marko Varamäki.
The school’s plan and vision for entrepreneurship education are communicated to students, parents, staff and the wider community. The school evaluated their entrepreneurship education activities in 2012.
The school allocates specific resources to encourage and support entrepreneurship education activities. One teacher gets a salary for doing entrepreneurial actions in the school. Another teacher coordinates the student board and helps them implement their own activities.
The school’s entrepreneurship education activities also include attention to ethical issues.
Learning by doing - this method is very useful in every subject and is widely implemented. The school has developed different tools for including entrepreneurial examples in the curriculum and the handbooks. Every year the team sits down and discusses ideas, so new teachers can find out the way to align their teaching techniques. In last two years the school has been concentrating on involving more student-based activities. These ideas motivate students in the best way. The next step is to get parents also more closely related to this system. A new platform where everybody can put their ideas into action is planned by the school.
Evaluation of Entrepreneurship Education is a general 'way of thinking' process in the Alakylän school. This gives self confidence to the students and creates a certain atmosphere in the school. Teachers have a huge role in this process, as it means a new approach to problem solving and pupils' involvement in the learning process.
"Step by step is a wise way of doing in education, so it takes many years to change the system, which has led our thinking. We have all done entrepreneurial education - we just haven't known it before."
Feedback to the students and promotion of Entrepreneurship Education (EE) in the media is an important part of raising awareness. The economical crisis has been one turning point which proved that a new way of educating our children is needed. Pupils are giving feedback by filling questionaires, by student board and by talking to their own teacher and headmaster. Also parents are encouraged to raise discussions during parents' board meetings.