Reflecting on PBL Developments with Business & Enterprise Kete in Year 9.

How have things gone in year 9 Art this year so far? Probably ok, but man it was disjointed. I have finished with Teaching 9 TN and Cindy has finished up teaching 9 Ca. We take on 9 mn and 9 hy for terms three and four.

We finished the term with the Business and Enterprise kete for years' 7 - 9 and a market day on the netball courts. It was overwhelmingly successful, with most student business making a profit over a loss, and all student businesses having learnt some lessons about the harshness that can be business.

We are in a world where our young people can seem so entitled - how do you get the latest iphone worth more than a good second hand car, without actually paying for it upfront? Pretty easily it seems - and the pressure is on for parents to provide their children with these things because of that sickening feeling that they will be the odd ones out, the rejected child and less likely to survive the hostility that can be adolesence.

From within this very world, Janine Morrell-Gunn from Whitebait Productions and Matt Brown from 'My Father's Barber' lectured every single Year 9 on how realistically hard, full of failure and fear it was to get a business up and running.  There were still pockets of 'this is what I want to do, so you should want it and buy it because I said so'. That is entitlement, without actually putting the work in, knowing whether your market even exists, or if it is just a vanity project. BUT, these pockets were remarkably small. Most students put thought into their product, and went beyond this is what I want to do because I like it, into how will I encourage others to like it too, or should I consider something else instead of, or as well as? That is business. Know your market and work to that, not against it or ignorant of it. At the end of the day Art sells too and is just as marketable as any other product.

Back to my point. The disjointed nature of this was somewhat down to me. I wasn't sure how I fitted in with this and in fact I was disappointed that we didn't shut the whole curriculum down and whole heartedly attack it with our own expertise as leverage. So we did our thing for term one, then tried to teach around the kete in relation to business and enterprise.

However it wasn't just a 'me' problem, it is a 'new thing' problem, 'unfamiliarity' problem, 'time-based' problem, 'how does our hierarchy/systems work with this' problem too. There were meetings to try and keep things together. I'm not sure we were reporting back or updating progress from any of us in our 'siloes' that we are desperately trying to break down. We did our own thing because we hadn't resolved how we all fitted together. Room to breathe please. We were still doing the traditional job we have been employed by the school and MOE to do; subject specialist teachers. Gotta start somewhere though.

We were only teaching the Visual Arts aspect of this to two of the four Year 9 classes due to our timetable. There was clear crossover between DTE and Visual Arts, but the other two year 9 classes that we didn't teach, were not doing DTE this semester, only one of the two classes Visual Arts had, was currently doing DTE. More disjointedness.

For whatever reason DTE only gets one hour a week, but were trying to do the same thing in terms of advertising and visual language, but there was no room to breathe to even correlate that. I note that although jingles were written with groups through Music, no where were they able to use these to market their wares on the day of the market, adding to my sense of disjointedness between subject specialists and the process itself.

Planning in relation to how we may or may not fit in with the Arts kete (undecided from beyond me) for Visual Arts will take this stuff into account. As will an expectation that we are either in it full on or not at all and doing our own thing. In the mean time, until we are at a point where we can shut the curriculum down and go for it, we still have our traditional jobs to do, for us, teaching Visual Arts according to the curriculum and reporting back to whānau on the strands within that subject.


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