BIStopia is a long standing BIS tradition that we have developed into a detailed process that can supply many rich learning experiences from across our framework perspectives. This is a week long exploration, once per semester, where we turn into a thriving economy under a political system.
It has two parts that interlock:
There are targeted experiences in both strands, with students encouraged to work on this in their own time, with adult support. There are preparation days with a student and parent shopping day (don’t worry, we give parents a stimulus package of our own currency – BISmarks!)
Entrepreneurship is a tricky thing to pin down as we know that business success predominantly has to do with luck and chance rather than any specific goal setting or attributes. However, we can all be faced with opportunity, it is what happens when it arises that leads to amazing innovation and development. Our Self Directed Characteristics work alongside the research into attributes of successful entrepreneurs and is therefore present within this strand. Before we look at the interlocking nature, let’s look at the attributes of an Entrepreneur drawn from a recent meta analysis by the Harvard Business School.
Research shows that although high risk attributes are often indicators of entry into Entrepreneurship, long term success is linked more to medium or low risk levels. Risk interacts strongly with Self Efficacy and Innovation, if you feel confident in your ability and are hungry for novelty, you are more likely to take a risk and that willingness to actually move into action from the idea is essential.
This Strand is designed to allow students to:
- Enter into business at the level they are comfortable
- Provide flexibility for students to reach independence in their chosen focus without having to wait for their whole Basecamp – they can reach their own goals
- Choose to focus their attention on the broad certification or hone their focus to the one in which they are motivated
This is a whole week of exploring the nature of community and social order, and represents a highly integrated learning experience that aligns literacy, numeracy, history, civics and science into some key events. Students learn the skills for these culminating events and develop their tools for application of knowledge gained:
- Currency in maths develops into running the bank, organising their bank account, ensuring they can pay bills or purchase at the shops with data collection used for market analysis and targeted business design.
- Persuasive writing and speaking is used in political speeches, announcing at events, spruiking their shop, writing adverts and selling their ideas to others. Report writing leads to writing for the BIStopia newspaper.
- Learning about community organizations and systems design develops into establishing social services like the hospital, police, ambulance – whatever they think is important to have in their community.
- Finding out about government, decision-making and leadership percolates into elections and governance.
- Exploring simple chemistry and materials whilst inventing ideas, exploring intellectual property ideas, developing business models to present and set up shops.
- Exploring design becomes shop fronts, newspaper adverts and packaging .
- Students engage in vivid passionate discussions about community, friendship, fairness, justice, laws, punishment and safety.