Leading the learning/ Att leda lärande.

Projecting the Future.  Henrik Gattberg och Alexandra Koumi handleder. Båda Henrik och Alexandra är lärare i företagsekonomi och entreprenörsskap, och Alexandra undervisar även i samhällskunskap. Båda är förstelärare på VRG Djursholm . Student gästbloggare är Yasmine Dahlberg.

2019-05-14

 

“Education is a passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X

This quote captures the importance of knowledge and hands-on scholarship to succeed in a fast-changing world. At VR schools, students are not just educated in the area of their specializations but are equipped with the skills outlined in the main intentions of the Swedish curriculum. The combination of engagement between teachers and students in the classroom, as well as the clear application of the knowledge learned to challenges and opportunities beyond the classroom, are what drive the holistic development of each student forward. A clear example of this happens during VRG Djursholm’s Project Weeks for Year Two economic students.  For two weeks in January, Year Two economic students do not attend their usual classes but instead work in small groups with mentoring companies. The companies working with the students this year are VOI Technology, Synch, Storytel, My Driving Academy, Bemannica, Attracta, IVEO, Svenska Bio, Mediaplanet, Meds, Flippingbook, and Qualora Capital.

The purpose of this year’s Project Weeks was to study how the companies work within the layers, or “dysfunctions”, of the Patrick Lencioni Trust Pyramid to develop more effective work teams. The Lencioni Trust Pyramid is divided into five layers. Starting at the bottom of the model they are trust, conflict, commitment, accountability, and results. All underlying layers must be sufficiently supported to create a successful team. In contrast, an ineffective team is built on five dysfunctions: an absence of trust; fear of conflict; lack of commitment; avoidance of accountability; and inattention to results. Improving the effectiveness of a team is definitely not easy but yields valuable results in the long term.

After a thorough introduction composed of lectures, reading material, and group discussions, the students interviewed prominent leaders at their assigned company and applied Lencioni’s theory on them. Due to the close relationship between the students and the companies, students received honest, helpful, and nuanced information that they could then analyze. For example, students who interviewed the digital agency Iveo identified their main dysfunction as fear of conflict, leading to avoidance of certain issues, both in discussions and on the agenda. Other students who interviewed Storytel found that their strongest asset was accountability since employees could point out bad behaviors and achievements.  Storytel’s open floor plan also gave workers the opportunity to converse and cooperate easily.

After the students had compiled their results, they created a presentation in a Flippingbook, on Google Sites or Wix, which illustrated whether the companies had exhibited any of Lencioni’s dysfunctions, and how management or team leaders tried to solve those dysfunctions. All presentations were made in front of both economic classes as well as VRG Djursholm’s principle, Pernilla Hemmingson, and two members of the VR Schools Board of Directors, Louise Ankarcrona and Louise Westerberg.

Once the students had evaluated their companies’ team effectiveness, the students’ group dynamics improved as well. A student who worked with Attracta explained that the company’s clear goals and deadlines fostered ambition and motivation within the employees, something her own group tried to do internally. She also realized that creating smaller, less-demanding deadlines enhanced their communication and helped them reach their collective goals. Other students explained that they now try to give classmates more room to speak and that they have a better understanding of how people work. Collaborating on more intimate group projects like these has also allowed faculty to give individual attention to students. Teachers have developed close relationships with their students and lessons are much more interactive in smaller classrooms.

Project Weeks is a vibrant combination of theory and practice—and a great example of how VR schools teach. Students gain hands-on experience with what they have learned in class, they improve their work skills, and get a taste of what to expect from their future jobs. Students are not just learning from faculty and the business community; they learn from each other as well.

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Bild: www.friedsstiftelse.se

Bild: www.friedsstiftelse.se

Bild: www.friedsstiftelse.se

Yasmine Dahlberg, elev på VRG Djursholm, är gästbloggare denna gång. Handledare för detta projekt är Hentik Gattberg och Alexandra Koumi.