Thanks to the Signature Academic Program and its emphasis on experiential learning, a new course in entrepreneurship has joined George School’s extensive history and social science offerings. Its “initial public offering” was a huge success, with so much interest from students that three sections of the two-module course have been created.
Entrepreneurship is the brainchild of teacher Heather Mooney, who arrived at the school in 2021. “One of the reasons why I came here,” she explains, “was the possibility to innovate in your classroom. We are just beginning to tap into the potential of the new schedule.”
The course begins with a fall module of foundational theory (e.g., what is a business plan?), guest speakers, and the start of a hands-on business competition, conducted in small groups. Teams will identify a need, develop a plan and produce a product (made from recycled materials) to meet that need, get financing, pay for labor, and then market and sell their product on campus in the spring. Reflection is a key part of the experience.
Entrepreneurship is one of many new courses in which students immediately apply what they learn to real-world situations, moving beyond and before traditional problem-solving. Instead of “giving students problems and asking them to solve them, here they have to identify the needs and wants themselves,” says Heather. “There’s going to be a lot of failing,” but they will learn from “fast fails” and adjust accordingly in this real-life exercise in design thinking.