Creativity, Curiosity, Challenge with Fire, Fun and Focus. That was my morning yesterday, joining Professor Andy Penaluna, as he inspired educators and leaders from a breadth of Swansea primary schools. Delegates gathered together, as agents of change in the development and implementation of the new Curriculum for Wales 2022. A collective of focused professionals working hard to bring the new curriculum to life. A blend of expertise and experience across the continuum of stages in the journey, including Learning Pioneers, who openly shared their progress to date.
Professor Andy brought fun and light to proceedings, making clear connections with an ‘Entrepreneurial Mindset’, the expectations of Donaldson’s Successful Futures (2015), and the most recent ‘Curriculum for Wales Guidance’ (Jan, 2020). Making the perfect case for how a curiosity-based entrepreneurial learning approach both underpins and seeds success for the country’s new curriculum framework. The 4 purposes of the new curriculum design being that the children and young people in Wales should develop as:
- Ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives
- Enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work
- Ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world
- Healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society
Professor Andy highlighted the importance of the development of educator entrepreneurial competences for the active design and facilitation of methods that will help students to release their creativity and innovation, as teaching morphs away from a teacher-led content focus. Providing pragmatic support on an entrepreneurial learning approach to curriculum design that will help educators target and unlock the ‘creativity and innovation’, ‘critical thinking and problem-solving’, ‘personal effectiveness’, and ‘planning and organising’ potential of their learners. That the ‘integral skills’ that encompass the skills required by learners to recognize, use and create different types of value in a range of contexts are realistically achievable in pedagogic practices underpinned by entrepreneurial learning. That value does indeed extend beyond the more traditional focus on the financial, to cultural, social and learning; achievable in the new and unfolding context of Welsh learning design.
A key takeaway from the session for me, is that the new curriculum opportunity will afford a fun, inspiring and engaging environment, particularly if Professor Andy’s approach and thinking is heartily adopted. Entrepreneurial teachers are memorable teachers who allow their learners to develop their own ideas, create spaces and stimuli for the development of agency, initiative, and glorious problem-solving; so learners may become the creative contributors who see value in new contexts and for a wider purpose.
A big thank you to Prof. Andy for taking his time out to facilitate this workshop, to help local educators empower their learners to develop the wide-ranging qualities that will enable them to develop and sustain rewarding lives.
‘A former Chair of Enterprise Educators UK, Andy was described by UK Government as the World’s first Professor of Creative Entrepreneurship. He conceptualized and chaired the Quality Assurance Agency’s Graduate Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Group, which developed national UK Higher Education guidance‘ (https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/person/andy-penaluna).