Entrepreneurship in secondary education
Young people deal intensively with social issues, moral values and themselves – they are looking for their place in society.
It is precisely at this time that teenagers need a living and developmental space in which, in addition to working with and in nature, they also experience an introduction to cultural, social life. In this sense, Maria Montessori called it an earth-children plan or an experiential school of social life, respectively. From a practical point of view, this means for us that in addition to intellectual and thinking activities, we motivate our students to do internships in real companies and to act in an entrepreneurial and social way.
Teenagers learn differently
SFor example, many years ago we founded the so-called Youth School, which is primarily aimed at students in the 7th/8th grade. The teenagers spend part of their school time on a plot of land outside the school building, which they maintain and cultivate. They develop various projects, e.g. building a stone oven or keeping chicken, and they take care of their financing. With this project we give them space to develop their personality. They also encounter real challenges that they cannot always cope with immediately. Failure can then help them to question causes and develop new solutions. In addition, curricular contents can not only be worked out theoretically on the plot, but are given a direct connection to the reality of the teenagers’ lives.
Independent. Self-confident. Team player. Responsible – for themselves and others. Our students are allowed and encouraged to develop these and other skills outside of school. For this reason, we support teenagers from the 5th grade onwards in finding an internship in diverse companies of their choice.
In the run-up to the internship, the students prepare for it with their teachers. They are given a notebook in which they can record information about the job and the company as well as their experiences. At the end of the internship, the company leaves an assessment and recommendation for the students. Student internships are an uplifting and positive element of our secondary school pedagogical concept.