Strategy: Educational Student Project
Educational projects for students must necessarily be based on the strategy of educating, described by Goźlińska (1997) as: 'general goals, measures and methods prepared by teachers in order to gain best possible results, methods of interpretation of general educational goals and ways of implementing them'. This is a reflection on the purpose and structure of effective educational projects and how they can help to develop entrepreneurial skills in students of all ages.
Purpose and process
The primary aim of educating by means of projects is based on preparing the student to manage self-directed study, and to undertake problem- and conflict- solving in a creative way. It is a very flexible approach which allows teachers considerable leeway when choosing which supporting methods to incorporate. 'Stimulation' methods are particularly useful as they encourage students to independently plan and realise tasks with the teacher acting more as an adviser than expert. In educational projects, four clear stages can be distinguished:
1. Project planning:
- Choosing an area where one will operate/choosing the project subject
- Establishing goals
- Describing procedures of how to reach goals
- Establishing rules for cooperation within the team
- Appointing roles
- Setting up criteria for judging ventures
- Working out a schedule of action.
- Deciding on a way of documenting actions
- How task orientated teams function
- Motivation of students to realise planned actions.
3. Presentation of results:
- Establishing rules for presentations
- Choosing a method of presentation
- Preparation for presentations (measures used for visualisation).
4. Evaluation of results:
- Distinguishing the strong aspects of the venture and identifying the areas for further development
- Self-judgment within the scope of task realisation
- Opinions made by friends.
In stages 1 and 2 of the project, students will need to be prepared for working independently, perhaps by participating in task-orientated teamwork activities. A particularly important aspect for consideration in stage 1 is the choice of topic for the project - these should be selected by the students themselves, according to their individual interests. One approach may be to help them connect their interests to current problems existing in the local neighbourhood or region in order to incorporate the needs of the local community into the didactic process.
- Plan and organize their own work as well as choose their own area of investigation, independently but with support from the teacher
- Build enterprising skills, attitudes and behaviours, especially: problem solving; teamwork; time management; communication and presentation
- Develop their research skills through gathering and prioritising appropriate information
Curricular or thematic relevance
Educational projects can be incorporated into all subject areas of the national curriculum and can also help learning related to other types of extra-curricular ventures and student initiatives. Moreover, it is important to emphasise the interdisciplinary attributes of this method in that project work creates the possibility of introducing integration and correlation of content into teaching and learning.
How to organise:
Can be used in timetabled lessons, suspended timetable time or as part of an extra-curricular activity
Assessment and evaluation approaches
The final results are assessed and evaluated by the students themselves, together with their teacher, during the 4th stage of the activity
Where the project is directly linked to entrepreneurship, such as the development of a mini-company or in-depth investigation of a product, service or industrial practice, the involvement of external partners including employers would be strongly recommended. They can play a vital role in setting a 'real' work-related problem, providing advice and access to resources or information, testing out students' proposed solutions and giving feedback.
For example while educating about safety
Files for download:wieslawa_kitajgrodzka_tools- examples.doc / 30kB
helper do TM detail body (June 6th, 1st half)
The interesting feature is the personal involvement of students as real "actors" in the project itself linked to their context.