At the end of our first full year of the Jump Start project, I wanted to reflect on and share our journey. Over the next two posts, I will discuss the impact of the program, the rationale and research which has underpinned the development of the project and of course, how we are measuring our students success.
The goal of the Jump Start project is to provide opportunities for young people to develop the critical skills of a successful citizen in the 21st century. These skills include critical and creative thinking, being innovators and knowledge contributors, being resilient and reflective learners and being entrepreneurial in responding to social issues within the community.
Creativity and innovation are incredibly difficult to both define and measure. However, we attempted to measure learning in these areas through qualitative measures and objective observations of the success of completed projects.
The Jump Start project ran in 2016 with 60 students in Year 7 and 30 students in Year 8 (with a further 30 Year 9 students who worked with Five Oceans in Semester 2). To test the success of the program other Year 7 and 8 classes not participating in Jump Start were used as control groups in order to identify any significant differences in both academic achievement and engagement.
Quantitative data was also gathered to demonstrate the success of the program through a comparison of academic achievement between students participating in the Jump Start curriculum in the Year 7 and 8 Designing Futures subject and those that were in Designing Futures but doing the current curriculum. The level of student engagement could also be compared by using data collected from the results for ‘Effort’ as recorded on student reports.
There were significant differences in both Year 7 and 8 classes participating in Jump Start compared with classes from the same cohort that were not.
Qualitative Data collected from student surveys conducted at the beginning and end of the program also shows a noticeable improvement in student’s perceived knowledge about entrepreneurship, design thinking and social enterprise. Students reported that failing also worried them less after the program and that they had gained more confidence in public speaking. Data also showed a shift towards students perceiving themselves as leaders after completion of the program.
Students were also asked to reflect upon their experience in Jump Start and provide feedback and a testimonial about their experience.
I would 100% recommend Jump Start to other students as it has given me a different set of skills I can apply to my future endeavours.
Jump Start has taught me to look at problems as opportunities.
Jump Start was fun and taught me a lot about social entrepreneurship and design thinking. An inspirational and educational introduction to business, design and crowdfunding.
I would recommend the program to other students because it gives them another way to ideate ideas, learn time management skills and be a team player throughout the program.
In my next post, I will delete a little deeper into the research which has underpinned the development of the Jump Start project.