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Partnership with a Shopping Centre

A project developed by a Finnish city-centre secondary school to improve their relationship with a local shopping centre. Through systematically working with lower secondary students to remove negative behaviour in the shopping centre such as smoking and annoying customers, teachers have managed to generate greater understanding and positive attitudes on both sides, and have forged a genuine, long-lasting partnership.

Purpose and process

The aim of the project is to open up a range of opportunities for students which can support their work and personal/career development, in exchange for a real improvement in their behaviour.

Each year, student council members sign a written contract with the shopping centre in which they promise to behave well. In return, the shopping centre offers a wide range of opportunities:

  • paid jobs for students (students receive individual pay if the work is done in their own time; if done by a group, the money earned goes to the whole student body)
  • use of the shopping centre for extra-curricular projects
  • occasional business lunches to which two students and one teacher (different each time so the business partners get to know all staff) are invited
  • get-togethers for staff from both organisations so that everyone can meet and exchange ideas and hear about possible upcoming challenges.

Learning outcomes

To change the mindsets of students, teachers, parents and shopping centre management/staff and to create mutual benefits for both the organisations involved. Ultimately, to sustain a long-term partnership between the school and the shopping centre underpinned by a shared vision of teachers, centre staff and parents about how best to help students take care of their partnership agreement.

Curricular or thematic relevance

Can add value and relevance to any subject and fits with the Finnish national curricula in terms of meeting the crosscurricular goal for entrepreneurship education which it contains.

How to organise:

Activities are mainly extra-curricular, using students' own time.

Assessment and evaluation approaches

Ongoing - daily 'co-working' and monitoring by teachers and shopping centre staff. Feedback is received constantly on both sides and is instantly acted upon

Volunteer involvement

Strong ongoing commitment by management and other staff in the shopping centre to maintaining this approach ; a willingness to develop suitable opportunities for the students, including paid work placements, and to regularly review progress made

Additional comments

This method is one of the oldest in the entrepreneurial field and it still works well today.

Provider country

Finland

Has been provided by school:

Seinäjoen lyseo

helper do TM detail body (June 6th, 1st half)

helper do TM detail right side (TM June 6th, 2nd half)


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