Many national and European documents attest to the increasing of early school leaving and educational poverty for Italy's north-east area. To tackle this negative trend, it is important to implement preventive strategies from childhood so that children can be involved and accompanied in educational paths to be protagonists both of their learning processes and the change of their territory. Entrepreneurship education is indeed a Life Skills approach that brings a set of benefits both to the individual subjects who take part in it and to the territorial context in which these programs are located. The "Bell'Impresa" project has the specific objective of promoting the entrepreneurship of minors through "doing" as a direct tool to combat hardship and the growth of a generative network of citizens aware of the change they can bring in their context and in the community. Through the promotion of entrepreneurship, it is intended to stimulate in young people (8-10 years old children and 11-13 years old teenager) the adoption of an attitude of personal responsibility, resourcefulness, creativity, and spirit of initiative, helping to make the children actors with skills, passions, and dreams useful for their personal growth and the change of the context in which they live. The lines of intervention include both school and extracurricular cooperative workshops in which students will work on living the space and opening the school to the territory, as well as real school cooperatives, where they are asked to produce furniture with recycled materials or services that in the future may be an integral part of the school's activities. This paper aims to present the results of a monitoring and training intervention that involved educators who coordinate the project's activities to gain awareness of the meanings of school cooperatives, their strengths, and elements of possible improvement. The ultimate goal was to bring out the pedagogical theory inherent in everyday educational practices. The tool used to facilitate the achievement of these objectives is the shared construction, in round-robin mode, of mind maps having as an object of reflection the expression "school cooperative". The results of the mental mapping analysis highlighted some conceptual islands that characterize the experience of educational cooperatives. School cooperatives are considered an educational, teaching, and social innovation model based on business simulation. By building, experimenting, and reflecting on these experiences, young people can develop transversal skills essential for their personal growth. Two key elements for the effectiveness of such experiences are building educational networks and relationships. Although limited in terms of participation, the educational experience presented in this study has a twofold added value. In the first place, it constituted an important milestone for all the participants. Educators were able to pause and reflect on their experiences and discuss with colleagues to gain awareness of the present and possible lines of future development; the project coordinators had the opportunity to monitor the project's progress by collecting qualitative data difficult to collect. Secondly, disseminating these results can increase the debate on school cooperatives, whose scientific literature is still limited.

The role of school cooperatives in increasing students' entrepreneurial skills to prevent early school leaving. A mapping of the educators’ mental representations

Girelli, Claudio;Bevilacqua, Alessia;Micheletti, Marzia;Mion, Giorgio
2021

Abstract

Many national and European documents attest to the increasing of early school leaving and educational poverty for Italy's north-east area. To tackle this negative trend, it is important to implement preventive strategies from childhood so that children can be involved and accompanied in educational paths to be protagonists both of their learning processes and the change of their territory. Entrepreneurship education is indeed a Life Skills approach that brings a set of benefits both to the individual subjects who take part in it and to the territorial context in which these programs are located. The "Bell'Impresa" project has the specific objective of promoting the entrepreneurship of minors through "doing" as a direct tool to combat hardship and the growth of a generative network of citizens aware of the change they can bring in their context and in the community. Through the promotion of entrepreneurship, it is intended to stimulate in young people (8-10 years old children and 11-13 years old teenager) the adoption of an attitude of personal responsibility, resourcefulness, creativity, and spirit of initiative, helping to make the children actors with skills, passions, and dreams useful for their personal growth and the change of the context in which they live. The lines of intervention include both school and extracurricular cooperative workshops in which students will work on living the space and opening the school to the territory, as well as real school cooperatives, where they are asked to produce furniture with recycled materials or services that in the future may be an integral part of the school's activities. This paper aims to present the results of a monitoring and training intervention that involved educators who coordinate the project's activities to gain awareness of the meanings of school cooperatives, their strengths, and elements of possible improvement. The ultimate goal was to bring out the pedagogical theory inherent in everyday educational practices. The tool used to facilitate the achievement of these objectives is the shared construction, in round-robin mode, of mind maps having as an object of reflection the expression "school cooperative". The results of the mental mapping analysis highlighted some conceptual islands that characterize the experience of educational cooperatives. School cooperatives are considered an educational, teaching, and social innovation model based on business simulation. By building, experimenting, and reflecting on these experiences, young people can develop transversal skills essential for their personal growth. Two key elements for the effectiveness of such experiences are building educational networks and relationships. Although limited in terms of participation, the educational experience presented in this study has a twofold added value. In the first place, it constituted an important milestone for all the participants. Educators were able to pause and reflect on their experiences and discuss with colleagues to gain awareness of the present and possible lines of future development; the project coordinators had the opportunity to monitor the project's progress by collecting qualitative data difficult to collect. Secondly, disseminating these results can increase the debate on school cooperatives, whose scientific literature is still limited.
978-84-09-34549-6
Entrepreneurship, School cooperatives, Experiential Learning, Educational networks, Early school leaving.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1058192
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