Click HERE for a 5-minute overview of my Action Research Project.
Click HERE for video footage of students presenting about their Social Business Project and their vision for the future of social entrepreneurship at a Social Entrepreneurship Conference at UCSD.
social business: a business which has its success measured by the social good it creates, rather than its monetary profit
curriculum: (Latin for “race course”) the set of experiences students go through, in and out of school, for purposeful formation and growth
Abstract: The following action research project is in response to the question: what happens when social entrepreneurship and the new capitalism becomes an integral part of my classroom curriculum? This project was born from my desire to help my students to “actively engage in the transformation of their world”, as Paolo Friere wrote about in Pedagogy of the Oppressed. By following three focus groups of students throughout our Social Business Project, I gathered and analyzed data focusing on students’ sense of engagement, empowerment and perseverance. This project took place in an 8th grade project-based learning classroom at High Tech Middle Media Arts in San Diego. I found that a group’s sense of engagement, empowerment and perseverance relied most heavily on having a personal connection to a cause, creating a plan that was adaptable and flexible, forging meaningful community connections, sharing the work load evenly and educating others. This action research project includes student and teacher reflections, tips for educators and revised lesson plans meant to promote engagement, empowerment and perseverance within a service-learning experience. I want this study to inspire you into action. In the end, I have many more questions that I am empowered to engage in persevering through with my students.
Here is a link to download the slightly modified, pdf version of my thesis (without interactive links, pictures or video): FinalCompleteThesis
The Lessons Page houses the Social Business Project time-line, daily lessons and prompts used to introduce social businesses and create social business plans.
Please, visit the separate Action Research Plan web page for a detailed introduction, setting description, understandings section, and the methods used to gather data for my action research project.
The Case Studies page provides links to the study of three social business groups and documents how they navigated their way through the Social Business Project, each choosing a unique route.
The Conclusions page explores the “answer” to my action-research question and the lessons learned along the way. I frame my conclusions by looking most specifically at how the social business curriculum affects empowerment, perseverance and engagement in my classroom.
Works Cited provides a list of resources that informed my research and challenged my thinking.