15 August, 2006

Our Enterprising Community



As Phase 2 of CHESS-SQUARED draws to a close lets reflect on some of our achievements since the program started in May.

The image above is the logo for the ‘Our Enterprising Community’ project being run from Castlemaine Secondary College.

In May 2005, CSC received significant federal funding to develop national protocols for implementing Enterprise Education in Australian schools. The project invested heavily on staff development with Fabian Dattner, and sent a posse of teachers to Scandinavia examining best practice in Enterprise Education.

So, what is Enterprise Education?

In Castlemaine, it’s many things, and operates on many levels.

In terms of CHESS-SQUARED this translates into a program that has continually evolved, developed, and at times even changed direction. We started with a vague idea- to develop a school chess culture across a community- and slowly, move by move, headed in that direction.

Most schools run a chess program. So what, if anything, makes ours any different?

Phase 1 saw an idea develop:
 A partnership with Castlemaine Chess Club and Innovations and Excellence
 Purchase of classroom resources
 Development of lesson plans and resource material.

Phase 2 saw the launch of the project into 13 schools across the cluster in May, and since then:
 Partnership and mentor support from Latrobe University
 Development of a weblog (Blog) as a communication tool
 Press coverage in Education Times, Midland Express, Sydney Morning Herald
 2,500 feature article in ACER publication Teacher magazine
 Presented at a Simmer conference on using ICT to promote maths, science, and technology in rural school communties
 Featured on Susan Polgars blog in America
 Funding support from School Focused Youth Service (SFYS)
 Partnership with Castlemaine Community House
 Commitment for further support from Innovations and Excellence
 A teacher from Japan visiting the program, taking our model and resources to use in her school in Japan
 Local shops displaying the program in their shop windows
 Enecdotal data from teachers, and empirical data from observation schedules
 An estimated 260 students exposed to regular chess tutoring across Mt Alexander cluster

Enterprise Education is about fostering the resources of our community to support student learning. It's about thinking laterally. And seizing opportunities.
If developing enterprising skills in students involves attributes of thinking, planning, impulse control, and using strategy then surely we have embarked on that journey.

Phase3 of CHESS-SQUARED starts tomorrow.

1 comment:

Harry said...

Hi Chess buddies,
I think part of chess’s appeal to kids is that it is kinetic-hands on, involves game play and fun, and the outcomes are instantaneous-you solve the puzzle and win, or there is a negative consequence. I think chess is a mind sport where kids experience thinking as a fun process, whereas in other intellectual endeavours things can be stressful, and bear in mind they practice the art of thinking in the heat of competition.
Another interesting point is that all the tutors and teachers I have spoken to see girls as enthusiastic as boys about chess and they are just as competitive and talented.
Regards Harry