As the modern work place changes, so does the demand for schools to create classes and learning opportunities that develop skills for the 21st century. Tony Wagner, author and Harvard professor of education has identified 7 important skills for students to master for future success, which include:
- Agility & Adaptability
- Initiative & Entrepreneurship
- Effective oral & written communication
- Accessing & analyzing information and
- Curiosity & imagination
Providing students learning opportunities to practice these skills will require teachers and schools to reinvent the classroom. An Entrepreneurial Learning Internship (ELI) is a multi-discipline and multi-level approach to teaching that’s designed to provide students an opportunity to guide their learning while developing these skills. An ELI can be implemented in various classes as a form of project-based learning, but can also work as a stand alone course, club, or model for school-wide community outreach.
Unlike some project-based learning programs, an ELI allows students of multiple levels to work together on the same project. Furthermore, an ELI can be designed for completely democratic and open-ended collaboration or harnessed to fit a school’s mission and vision.
Composed of 5 phases, each phase is designed to involve the surrounding community to create an identified and needed outcome. Although an ELI is rooted in various teaching and leadership practices, it’s focus on collaborative improvement is connected to Appreciative Inquiry, which is a form of positive psychology.
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