New Partnership to Enable Students at Flinders to Become Entrepreneurs of the Future

Matthew Flinders Anglican College is partnering with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) on a research project to equip its Primary School students and teachers with skills to be entrepreneurs of the future.

Flinders Head of Learning and Teaching Debbie Planck said the new partnership between the College and the QUT Design Lab would introduce and develop design-led innovation and entrepreneurship skills for students, teachers and the wider school community.

“Building an entrepreneurial generation requires people with curiosity, creativity and empathy, and we believe that schools have an important role to play in this mission,” Debbie said.

“At Flinders, we want to help students develop the skills and attributes for entrepreneurship and innovation at an early age,” she said.

“In 2019, we launched our i-Impact program in our Primary School to enable our students to design, create and share entrepreneurial projects that make a positive impact in the world.

“The focus has been on embedding design thinking, entrepreneurship, social and emotional capabilities and specific curriculum content into real life contexts to engage and motivate students.

“Projects have included the Year 3 students’ Living Museum exhibition and the Year 6 Junior Boss Program, which culminated in a recent Market Day with funds raised going to charity.

“The College’s new partnership with QUT Design Lab will help to take this program to the next level.”

The program not only enables the College’s students to gain the skills and motivation to innovate for positive change, but also enables its teachers to access professional development centred on innovative pedagogy and curriculum skills development.

This will enable the College’s teaching team to confidently support their students through each entrepreneurial project.

Debbie Planck noted, “This partnership is an exciting development that will give us the data and confidence to know how best to empower and challenge our students to lead and serve, building their self-confidence, resilience and integrity.

“The design thinking basis for our i-Impact program ensures our students are developing the contemporary skills required now and for the future, whilst also ensuring character dispositions and social emotional skills are being enhanced.

“Enabling our students to have a positive influence on others, the environment and the world in general, through focusing on addressing environmental, economic, social and cultural issues assists our students to further develop as ethical and aware citizens who can make positive changes in the world.

“Richly integrated technology, critical, creative and agile thinking, developing habits of empathy and justice, and equipping our students with design thinking positions them to be genuine change agents for good in the world."
The QUT Design Lab’s research platform will invite teachers and students to be involved in surveys, interviews, focus groups and reflective journals as the students go about their entrepreneurship projects.

The research data will help to inform the ongoing co-creation of professional development and curriculum development in the College.

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