Why Build An Innovative Framework at St John’s

In a world that is increasingly characterised by complexity and change, the need for young people to be enterprising and innovative, to both cope and thrive, has never been greater in these challenging and uncertain times. Enterprising young people are typically optimistic about their future and have raised aspirations for further education and training, employment and self-employment.

All young people require opportunities to develop agency and enterprising capabilities that enable them to successfully and confidently manage their life, learning and work into the future.

In a world that is increasingly characterised by complexity and change, the need for young people to be enterprising and innovative, to both cope and thrive, has never been greater in these challenging and uncertain times. Enterprising young people are typically optimistic about their future and have raised aspirations for further education and training, employment and self-employment.

Developing an enterprising culture is vital to Australia’s social and economic prosperity. Therefore, through the provision of enterprise learning, St John’s Grammar School has a fundamental role to play in the development of such a culture. As educators we need to embrace this exciting opportunity for change.

What does the research say?

Two key concepts that Zhao (2016) recommends are:
1. Stop defining students by their weakness and to start looking for strengths (focus on students exploring passions and strengths).
2. Develop an emergent curriculum and let the basics follow (teach basic skills in-situ when there is a natural purpose)

This will, in turn, transform and regenerate learning that is exciting, authentic and entrepreneurial. “Mass innovation and entrepreneurship rather than mass employment must be the new normal.” (Zhao and Gearin 2016 p. 121)

Bunce (2019) summarises by explaining that we are living in a time where the future is complex and we will be working in non-linear contexts. As a result, there will be an increasing demand for holistic and integrated approaches in the education system. Students need to develop transdisciplinary skills for unpredictable employment contexts AND become agents with strong, reflexive, creative, critical and cognitive capability.

Introducing our Innovative Agency Framework!

Over the last two years a team of six teachers from the Junior School and Secondary School have been given a unique opportunity to work in collaboration with the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA) and the University of East London. The result of this has been the development of our new ELC to Year 12 Innovative Agency Framework.

We have been driven by research, future education, innovation, but, most importantly, to give all our students the “St John’s Advantage”.

Our Innovative Agency Team is made up of representatives from both campuses:

Junior School – Joyanne Gardner, Michael Fowler & Veronika Crilley

Secondary School – Catherine Emmerson, Ben Clark & Jess Edwards

The framework explicitly teaches students enterprising and agency skills.

Within 3 core areas of ‘discover’, ‘generate’ and ‘innovate’, there are numerous skills and competencies that students will develop.

DISCOVER
Problem seeking, posing questions, engaging and connecting, defining learning intentions and success criteria, managing time, knowledge diving

GENERATE
Synthesising and generating solutions, evaluating, prototyping, seeking feedback

INNOVATE
Communicating the idea, evolving and empowering

These skills drive the development of agency and enterprising thinking and will allow our students to explore opportunities in the entrepreneurial world.

Signature Experiences at each year level bring enterprise and agency to life.

In order for every student to have the opportunity to experience the learning and development of these agency and enterprising skills, Signature Experiences have been established at each year level (Reception through to Year 12).

We want students to be agents of their own learning so they can forge unique and exciting pathways that improve and shape a world that is better for us all. Some of these Signature Experiences are already underway or in the pilot phases and we look forward to sharing with you many of the amazing student-led innovations.

Innovation Flight Fund will provide start-up funds.

As a result of student participation in our Innovative Agency Framework, some students can create business products or concepts that could be developed further. To support this principle, we have established an Innovation Flight Fund which will give students access to start-up funds to make a small number of prototypes to promote to industry.

Can you be involved?

Parents are often one of our greatest resources, if you have connected with this new Framework and would like to offer your expertise, industry links, knowledge and/or experience, please contact either Joyanne Gardner on the Junior School Campus or Catherine Emmerson on the Secondary Campus. We would love to hear from you.

This is an exciting new innovation at St John’s Grammar School which will provide our students with the opportunity to be enterprising young people who are agents of their own learning with passion and purpose.

Joyanne Gardner & Catherine Emmerson
Members of the Innovative Agency Team

 

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