I’ve taken several entrepreneurship classes in my day, in Highschool and in University. Nothing compares to what Mr. McFarlen is doing at Regina’s Campbell Collegiate.
At the beginning of the year Mr. McFarlen splits the class into two companies (of their choice) but they have to be real. Yes, this isn’t a “case”, it’s not a business plan filled with university jargon that no one reads. This is a company who has products, sales, marketing, human resources, accounting and for the company I sat in on, they’re actually importing their product from China.
These students get a crash course in entrepreneurship, working as a team trying to achieve a common goal, and international business. All in one semester, in highschool.
The more similar to the real world the classroom experience is, the more relevant(better) the learning experience for students. These students weren’t memorizing definitions in a textbook, they were making distribution decisions, financial projections and executing marketing ideas. The best part? They were learning how to fail, the one thing that “school” does a lousy job of.
A famous man once said:
All the creativity books in the world aren’t going to help you if you’re unwilling to have lousy, lame and even dangerously bad ideas.
This entrepreneurship class at Campbell teaches kids that failure is a part of success. That it’s inevitable on the route to your end goal. Allowing students to try something, fail, and learn why, is an invaluable life lesson. More teachers need to build this into their curriculum.
I think Mr. McFarlen is one of the good ones. One of the teachers that cares, a teacher that strives to push his kids past where they’re at. He’s truly an inspiration, if our school system had more Mr. McFarlen’s all our students would be better off.