Sunday, March 27, 2016

Primary School for Social Entrepreneurs

Editor's note : Grateful for kindred spirits. 

Victoria Park Academy is not your average primary school. In 2007, the school was failing and in the bottom one per cent of schools in England. Through the determination, creativity and resourcefulness of its pupils and teachers, The Academy is now a huge success story, and was awarded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2011.

Following the NICER curriculum, Victoria Park Academy has embedded social entrepreneurship and core “Changemaker skills”, such as empathy, teamwork and creativity, throughout its curriculum. Encouraging the children to be independent and to take ownership of their learning is at the centre of the Academy’s ethos. Talking to three Year 6 pupils, they confidently explained the Academy’s “confusion to clarity” approach to learning.
The pupils are encouraged to adopt a healthy perspective of ‘failure’, and build resilience and problem-solving skills. One initiative is ‘The Pit’. At the beginning of a class the students will be given a problem and challenged to figure it out by themselves — effectively ‘thrown into the pit’. When asked whether this approach to learning was intimidating, the pupils said not. “It makes you prouder of your work because you’ve done it by yourself,” they explained.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Watershed Education : A Vehicle for Change

Whidbey Watershed Stewards from Thriving Communities on Vimeo.
A teacher’s vision, a living laboratory for students, and a community collaboration in service to a watershed and everyone in its community. Their contributions in this natural environment serve to dramatically illustrate a new way of stewarding the fragile ecosystem in which we live.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

SSIR : #RR : Tackling Heropreneurship

Recommended Read : "Tackling Heropreneurship : Why we need to move from 'the social entrepreneur' to social impact.

"...To really change a system, I believe people need a more holistic set of skills, including systems thinking, an understanding of collaboration tools to further collective impact, and lateral leadership skills such as the ability to lead without power and to galvanize movement toward a common goal across a diverse and disjointed solutions ecosystem. They also need a grounded understanding of themselves and their skills, such as how they like to work, which roles in a team best fit their skills, and if/how their risk tolerance fits with the range of social impact career options. Finally, if they plan to take a leadership or strategic role in solving a problem, they need a deep understanding of the reality of that problem."