Education and enterprise: Learning at the interface

This is the final report from the Evaluation of the Regional E4E Cluster Initiative, carried out for the Ministry of Education, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Tindall Foundation.

The cluster initiative was specifically set up as an innovative space for schools and regions to work collaboratively to set their own goals and test out different approaches to E4E. Our approach was to look across three focuses—cluster focus, national strategy focus and 21st century learning focus—to understand the aims and development of practice according to a range of stakeholders. Those findings were then used to develop an overall picture of change, and this provided a structure for evaluating the regional clusters initiative against six broad aims. These are:

  • A regional cluster model is set up and fostered
  • Mutually beneficial partnerships are created and maintained
  • Enterprising learning opportunities are provided
  • Students become educated lifelong learners with enterprising competencies
  • There is whole-school change towards E4E integration and an enterprising culture
  • E4E is responsive to different communities and contexts, including Maori and Pacific communities.

The summary presents findings for each of these aims and considers what the work tells us about the long-term objectives and potential outcomes for E4E in New Zealand.

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The overall aims of the evaluation were to:

  • investigate the processes and assess the impacts associated with schools (and regional school clusters) adopting an E4E approach.
  • provide formative feedback throughout the evaluation to support ongoing growth, development and sustainability of E4E practice in the four clusters, and the national strategy/programme
  • evaluate progress in the E4E clusters towards a sustainable model for E4E (for example, using the Critical Change indicators and Measures of Change identified in the Education for Enterprise Strategy), and to assess the viability of the strategy’s conceptual model for E4E cluster development
  • provide a critical analysis of evidence (from students, teachers, school leaders and community and business partners) about the degree to which E4E in the clusters aligns with the kinds of curriculum and pedagogical practices that have been advocated as appropriate for 21st century education.

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