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Our Learning Philosophy

Since we develop learning materials, you would think that we’re passionate about teaching. But you’d be wrong. We’re not passionate about teaching. We’re passionate about learning. And this subtle shift in focus from teaching to learning is what really defines our educational philosophy…

The classroom as it should be…

We believe that the ideal classroom is one in which the educator is released from administrative burdens and empowered to act as a dynamic facilitator of learning. As a facilitator, the educator:

  • interacts with learners in order to educe (or bring out) and develop their natural talents and their capacities for creative and critical thinking.
  • takes the role of a mentor or guide who sends learners to various learning resources, from which learners discover new ideas and ways of thinking by means of experiential, action learning.

This is the only context that is likely to achieve the critical and developmental outcomes stipulated in South Africa’s National Curriculum Statement. The “text book, talk and chalk” school of the past is simply incapable of preparing the learners of the future.

The classroom as it is

To appreciate the difference between our vision for how education should be, and the reality of how it is, we need to remind ourselves of the past. What are the key features of the historical classroom?

  • A teacher and chalk board.
  • A few rows of desks and chairs occupied by ±20 learners.
  • A narrow range of broad subjects, typically the “three Rs” (reading, writing, and arithmetic).

What are the key features of the contemporary classroom?

  • An educator and chalk board.
  • Many rows of desks and chairs occupied by 40 or more learners.
  • A wide range of specialised subjects (such as Economic and Management Sciences or Technology).

The similarities and the differences between the past and the present are telling. The classroom is unable to keep pace with the information revolution taking place in the world outside the educational system. What is the result? Educators spend a disproportionate amount of their time preparing lessons, assessing learners and administering results. Quality time for interacting with and developing learners is limited.

Learning Styles

Text books tend to cater only for learners who favour a linguistic / verbal learning style. By contrast, VENTURES materials are designed to appeal to all learning styles. Thus, the materials empower the educator to reach all the learners in a class by offering different kinds of learners different kinds of tasks, activities and content that satisfy their particular learning styles such as:

Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset

The following techniques are used in the Business VENTURES Teaching Methodology to achieve a change in entrepreneurial mindset:

Non-entrepreneurial habits (conventional) Entrepreneurial Habits
Wait for, accept and follow instructions Be proactive and discover learning
Be reactive Take initiative
Coast on past learning Embrace new ideas
Answer questions Ask questions
Solve problems Find own problems to solve
Accept the status quo Focus on constant and never-ending improvement

The left-hand column strikes a fatal blow against entrepreneurial thinking and attitudes, and it is therefore the aim of all Business Ventures Products to teach and encourage the entrepreneurial habits on the right.

Ventures Educator Development

The VENTURES system is an holistic solution to educator development because it proceeds from two complementary starting points:

  • good learning materials without development training will not transform the educator;
  • yet educator development training without good learning materials will not deliver effective and efficient learning in the 21st century.

The VENTURES educator development system provides: the tools, the techniques and the training to empower and guide the educator to take on the role of a dynamic facilitator of 21st century learning.

Since the content, logistics and OBE methodology are provided and driven by the VENTURES learning materials, educators can begin to see beyond the classroom confines of the subject, and to think and act entrepreneurially.

Instead of the anxiety of having to prepare lessons and navigate the complexities of the curriculum, educators can focus on what is really important: educating learners to become self-driven, life-long seekers of knowledge who respond to challenges with the enthusiasm of great entrepreneurs.

Educator Development Outcomes

The Business VENTURES system enables educators to achieve the following outcomes. By the end of their training, educators must be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the principles of Outcomes Based Education.
  • demonstrate an understanding of the critical and development outcomes of the NCS.
  • identify and explain the four EMS learning outcomes and their place within the NCS.
  • demonstrate basic understanding of at least 24 EMS concepts.
  • demonstrate how to facilitate an EMS lesson.
  • deliver EMS learning using Business VENTURES materials.
  • improvise creatively by adding their own research, information, ideas, etc. in order to enhance the EMS learning process.
  • generate appropriate questions with which to guide learning in EMS (and other learning areas).
  • master a range of critical thinking methodologies, which are built into the learning materials but usable beyond the EMS learning area.
  • manage 5 or 6 groups of learners per class.
  • manage and record the progress of learners in EMS.
  • assess and record the performance of each learner against a range of EMS assessment criteria (as required by the NCS).
  • provide mentoring recommendations to assist learners who are struggling with EMS.
  • organise entrepreneurial activities (such as market days and “money making plans”).

 


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