Empowering teachers to innovate and create a better education system

Entrepreneurial Educators Program
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REQUESTED DONATION:

$30,500 / $91,500

STATUS:

FOR DONATION

AREA:

PROGRAMS / EDUCATION

PROJECT

Expand the Entrepreneurial Educators program and support participating teachers as they implement new initiatives.

OBJECTIVE

Empower and grow a community of entrepreneurial high school teachers to effect positive change in their schools; thereby, help to increase the quality and dynamism of public education.

IMPORTANCE

Equipping teachers with the tools and support to be more entrepreneurial in their classrooms and schools will accelerate the opening up of Israel’s conservative education system and improve student experiences and outcomes.

THE BACKGROUND

Entrepreneurship has become a core component of the Education Administration of the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo. It underpins the guiding principles of Education Administration, that is equality, democracy, and ground-breaking education. Entrepreneurship in this context refers to proactivity, creativity, the ability to drive changes within the system and to take an idea and make it happen in a world of constraints.

One of the ways the Education Administration is cultivating and supporting entrepreneurship in the education system is by engaging frontline high school teachers through a new Entrepreneurial Educator program. Piloted in the 2017-2018 academic year, the Entrepreneurial Educatorsprogram engaged 20 entrepreneurial teachers from 10 high schools from across the city for 10 learning sessions over the course of the year. Importantly, these teachers represented a diverse cross-section of educators, coming from schools in the south, central, and north Tel Aviv and from the secular, religious, and Arab sectors.

The program comprised three key elements:
1. Shared learning about case studies;
2. Exposure to tools and methodologies of entrepreneurship and
encounters with entrepreneurs inside and outside the education
system; and
3. Exposure to the e-tech industry and learning support
technologies.

The program enabled the participants to develop skills and knowledge as well as build a community of entrepreneurial educators.

Program highlights included:

– Visiting impact labs;
– Learning about the “making” world;
– Learning about lean prototyping;
– Learning about project planning and budgeting;
– Encountering various education technologies;
– Participating in an experimental workshop about the relationship between architecture and education – how physical spaces affect learning.

The workshop took place at WeWork in south Tel Aviv in cooperation with the Reut Institute.

THE NEED

The education system in Israel is still quite conservative. This impacts teachers by limiting their ability to show initiative or to manage their time autonomously. It curtails their capacity to dream. It denies them concrete tools to implement their ideas, and the time, money, or other resources to effect change. This, in turn, adversely impacts students’ educational experiences. There is a strong need to develop a community of teachers who can effect positive change within their own schools and, thereby, help to increase the quality and dynamism of public education. It is critical to empower teachers with the motivation and autonomy to achieve – to improve their practice and the experiences and outcomes of their students.

THE PROJECT

The Entrepreneurial Educators program has three goals:

1. Skills development, for example, needs identification, idea generation and evaluation, independent learning, teamwork, and flexible thinking;
2. Community-building, including peer learning and support; and
3. Implementation of initiatives by participating teachers at their schools. Last year (the pilot year) was focused on skills development and community building. This next stage is designed to enable participating teachers to implement their ideas and initiatives at their schools. Idea implementation

The final part of the program is for participating teachers to prepare and present a work plan to implement their initiative within the school. Moreover, the Municipality seeks to provide ongoing support to teachers as they roll out the implementation of their initiatives. There is also scope to share these initiatives with other schools to increase their impact.

THE INVESTMENT

The Entrepreneurial Educators program provides vital skills, knowledge, and support. The program itself is funded in full by the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo. However, additional funding to support the successful implementation of teachers’ initiatives in their schools is a key ingredient that is currently missing.

The Tel Aviv Foundation seeks funding to enable teachers to maximize the success of their initiative; either for resources or materials, they may need to purchase or for supplementary professional development. Outlined below are three options to support teachers’ entrepreneurship in our city’s schools:

Program funding from the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo $47,000
Requested donation to support the implementation of:

20 projects $30,500
20 projects + 3 flagship projects $61,000
20 projects for three years $91,500

 

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