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Technical Institute “Enzo Ferruccio Corinaldesi - Practices In Entrepreneurship Education

This case study was prepared by Prof. Daniele Sordoni, Headmaster of Technical Institute “Enzo Ferruccio Corinaldesi”, edited by Joseph TIXIER from the OECD LEED Programme

Introduction

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The Technical Institute “Corinaldesi” is based on two different courses of study:

The Institute provide also to adult education with two courses of evening classes for Buildings Technician and Accountants.

The Institute is located in Senigallia , Marche Region in Via Tommaso D’Aquino, 4; and its web site is  http://www.corinaldesi.gov.it/ 

According with Italian “reform” of curricula, the Institute has two levels of students:

First cycle11 classes ( 7 for economics and 4 for  technologies) from 14 to 16 years old

Second cycle 21 classes (14 for economics and 7 for  technologies) from 16 to 19 years old

Adult courses  6 classes ( 3 for economics and 3 for technologies) from 30 to 45 (and more) years old

We have 780 students and 115 people staff (Teachers, Administrative employers and school employees).

Our Institute is situated in Senigallia, in Marche Region, on the middle of Italy, on Adriatic sea; Senigallia has about 45000 inhabitants but our school receives students from a wider area for about 100000 inhabitants. The economy is based on small industries, precision industry, handicrafts, tourism, agriculture, constructions, tertiary sector and economic services. Despite the economic crisis, the employment level is discrete but new ideas are needed to support employment particularly among young people.

The local environment strongly affected by the economic situation of the country, but the strong spirit of initiative, cultural and tourist vocation, the strong will of the Municipality of computerization of all the procedures and support people, especially those with special needs, keeps the spirit and purposeful cohesion uncommon.

Particular attention is given to the care of the environment, the city of Senigallia is awarded the Blue Flag, the towns of the district have been awarded the Orange Flag, our school was awarded with the Green Flag; all awards for the treatment of sustainability “360°”

Our school, according with Education Ministry rules, since 2006, promotes the entrepreneurship with projects that take place both during the hours of curricular lesson that in other times, and continue even after the end of the school year. These activities are possible for the knowledges and skills acquired by the teachers and the headmaster, thanks to specific training activities; training organized both by employers' associations that public and private training institutions, has allowed us to build an entrepreneurial culture and also  learning / teaching  environments that, in a short time, obtained important results both from the conceptual point of view (78% of the students at the end of the course showed to know the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, based on questionnaires administered by the Industrial Association and the Polytechnic University of Marche) that from the factual point of view of the factual (29% of the students completed the course of studies undertaken independently or in collaboration with companies and economic organizations the entrepreneurial path).

All this is possible due to the presence of the conditions of the local context, as described above, allowing a situation which, while not idyllic, it is still very positive.

Because this can happen in the best way is needed marked flexibility of the School of Teachers; in fact in Italy the concept of flexibility is very theoretical, beyond a fee schedule flexibility which varies between 20 and 30% of the total curriculum time, is a necessary co-operation between the Headmaster and teachers with the readiness, in compliance with contractual workers, at a time that suit you, from time to time as needed.

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Rationale

Really, in our school, it is correct to speak of a large project area that includes several actions that take place during the course of studies, sometimes simultaneously, and that should be the orientation (which basically goes from the first to the last time the student spent in school) to the alternation between school and work, the acquisition of basic knowledge to create a "startup" business, the activities of “learning by doing”, to create the prospects for the future, not only working but also to support the following courses of study: in practice, a series of activities that may give the students the possibility of “entrepreneurs themselves”.

The rationale that comforts the teachers and the headmaster in continuing on this path is the realization that only by giving students the tools of knowledge and analysis, of the current situation, and the outlook for the economic development in Italy and in the World, we  can give them the opportunity to embark on a path, at least, with sense.

According to our thinking on this, is also essential improve own knowledge and skills and, regardless of the study course, essential elements are: logic, mathematics, ICT and competence (rather than knowledge) to communicate in one or more foreign languages. (in our school we study English language, common to all, bat also French, Spanish and Russian)

The overall project has become operational when the employers' associations, in a meeting organized by our school to examine the prospects after the course of higher education, it has been highlighted by the representatives of the companies. the absolute inability of girls and boys of 19 years, to manage their own future, due to the lack of knowledge applicable to the reality of society and the lack of basic skills to deal consciously the world of work or University, showing a knowledge of ICT and of foreign languages “ancient school model” and not very effective but also the absolute inability to write a resume or make a request for job.

The problem seemed to be even more serious for the graduates of the course for adults who left school at the age between 30 and 45 years, with no possibility or ability to follow higher education, they need to be quickly launched to the world of work

In all of us is tripped something that, at first vague, and then more and more defined, prompted us to carry out a project to modernize the institution, transforming laboratories in special classrooms to give free citizenship to the ideas of girls and boys and classrooms in the workshops of dialogue and planning.

The proposal, simultaneously, by the Government of the Marche Region, Association of Enterprises and the Ministry of Labour has allowed us to kick off our action.

It should be noted that students, young or adults, were not been involved passively in the project idea, but at least as far as their ability, they were aware of the action and even families were involved in the project.

Description of the activity/project

GUIDANCE AS BASIC ACTION FOR ENTREPREUNERSHIP

Orientation training throughout the school career (14-19 years), within the disciplines, measures intended at promoting self-knowledge, to strengthen security on the choice made at the end of lower secondary school or correct redirecting choice.

In our School we arranged different actions that are revisited every years with all the partners involved.

First class: after the period of “welcome” (about two weeks), the teachers according with the guide-lines of Teachers Council and School Council of Administration, trough questionnaires, focus groups and interviews, record the ideas of students and comparing the results of these actions with the results of disciplinary tests (especially for the subjects characterizing the course of study), confirm the choice of students or suggest students and their families to change the choice, first of all looking for another course in the same institute but also for other upper secondary schools, these suggestions are not compulsory , so the family can decide to confirm the first choice. Usually these activities end in the first week of November , but, sometimes, the students can have another possibility of change in January.

Career guidance, in the first class, is a journey for the development of the person: the teenagers are invited  to reflect on their dreams and ideas to build their future also giving the opportunity to create activities or to take part to innovative projects.

Summarizing, In this context, the school:

Second class: at the end of this year, the students have to chose the study course among Business Information Systems, International Relationship for Marketing and Administration, Finance and Marketing (for economic sector) or Buildings, Environment and Landscape or Geotechnical Skills, Wood technologies (for technological sector); so the school provides to:

N:B.: sometimes some students (really a small number) ask for change school course (usually this happens in the first period of first class), often, after reflection about the real attitude and interests.

 

Third and fourth class: these classes are the professionalizing and characterizing years of study course that give the bases for the choice of university and for the future job; in the first period of third class it’s possible to change study course but, usually, only with another course of the same area. Since fourth class, the school organizes activities of school-work alternation and job placements, as well as visits to Universities and the research institutes, to put young people in contact with the world of work and training(not only University training)

Guidance for fifth (last) class

Really this activities started in fourth class but in the fifth class examines all the variables.

The School:

FINALIZED ACTIONS FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP

“Armed” with such a basic design (that for what concerns the last three classes is similar, even with appropriate adjustments, also for the course for adults) we can arrange several and different actions to promote Entrepreneurship; these activities started at the end of second/beginning of third class :

  1. activities of school-work during the school year and during the summer with the presence of tutors that show students the fundamentals of business;
  2. activities of business simulation, in collaboration with Industrial Association, National Confederation of Crafts, Italian Union of Banks;
  3. establishment of cooperatives with tutoring is carried out by staff of the School and of partner organizations;
  4. project "Your business idea" in which some students invent  an innovative product and create the whole supply chain business from the project to its marketing;
  5. project “The best entrepreneurial idea” in collaboration with National Confederation of Crafts,
  6. project “Learning by doing” with the local companies;
  7. project “fit for future” to promote environmental entrepreneurship;
  8. tutoring post graduate /diploma to improve skills in entrepreneurship.

All this activities are evaluated by a project staff including Headmaster, teachers, tutors, companies, students and families.

Anchoring of the activity/project in the school

The sustainability of the project within the School it is possible for the choice made by the Academic Board, the Council of the Institute (which also includes representatives of the families of the students) and the Scientific and Technical Committee (in which they take part representatives of the Municipality, the local government, trade associations, trade unions and labor offices) to choose such activities as supporting elements of the training of the School by allocating to it 60% of financial resources disposable for didactics offer.

The project can sustain itself thanks to the before mentioned flexibility in the curricular time table of schools and teachers; and staff of the School created a  "time bank" that would facilitate the design of the actions.

The activity presents, however  additional costs, since the staff involved, although within the school itself, must devote a total number of hours in addition to that curriculum; moreover, there are also people from outside qualified (psychologists, psycho-therapists, experts in the field), but part of the costs are covered by credit or  by the Ministry of  Labour or the local authorities

Achievements and impact

The project activities have assumed their present structure only 4 years, so it is not yet possible to define a statistically significant result, however, interest in the approach to problem is growing and this is assessed through questionnaires and monitors, which are also dynamically modified, and through interviews with students and focus groups conducted by outside and not outside people.

Interviews with parents are also important to understand whether the entrepreneurial ideas the student has knowledge also his family background.

Since the objective is to the interest of the companies, so that as early as last year, four companies have supported the creation of ideas and 22 students were hired with fixed-term employment relationship.

However, even if not entirely complete, the data refer to students who have completed the last year of their studies our school, tell us that 39% have found employment and 50% chose, it seems successfully, to continue in undergraduate or post-secondary education, so as to be able to say that 89% of graduates have been able to be an entrepreneur of his life.

Is more structured mode instead of the evaluation referred only guidance that is evaluated at the beginning guidance and at the end with questionnaires such as the one attached to this.

We can estimate a positive impact in the short and medium term, and only the next year, at the end of a complete cycle of activities we will be able to assess the long-term impact.

If from the point of view of the individual impact should be taken into account the differences between student and student, in a larger scale, the whole school has benefited from these activities becoming, in all its components, a school more modern and closer to plan and assess for skills

Success factors

The principal success factors in our activities are:

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Obstacles and ways to overcome them

The principal key obstacles encountered are: