conference encourages teachers to develop entrepreneurship | Nebraska today


Who decided that rows were the best way to organize a classroom? Or that learning can’t be loud and messy? Not an entrepreneur.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Engler Agri-Food Entrepreneurship Program hosted its first guide conference on July 7-8, which empowered educators in Nebraska to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

Brennan Costello, Engler’s trade relations manager, and Ann Dvorak, program specialist for the World Wildlife Fund and former high school agricultural teacher, designed the conference to help teachers challenge the assumptions of the traditional classroom teaching and creating employers instead of employees.

“The mission of educators is to educate young humans, to guide them to discover their goals in life,” said Dvorak. “The Guiding Conference was created to foster entrepreneurship among educators – to encourage them to test their curiosity about assumptions and to view obstacles and failures as points of growth. “

Throughout the two-day workshop, 17 high school teachers from across the state broke the boundaries of traditional classroom management by repeatedly asking the most entrepreneurial question of all: why not?

“The most important part of Guide taught me to recognize my assumptions about teaching and the importance of testing those assumptions to be more innovative in the classroom,” said Kate Grimes, agricultural education teacher at the community school. Axtell.

Teachers have identified alternatives to formal lecture, such as the Socratic Seminar, a student-led method of discussion focused on asking open-ended questions that share a variety of opinions on complex issues.

Participants also spoke with an administration group to learn how to collaborate effectively with directors, superintendents and community members. Educators have developed strategies to implement teaching methods that inspire students to confidently design learning projects and assess the quality of their work.

“I am delighted to incorporate project and self-assessment days to allow students in my class to explore the topics that interest them most and encourage them to take responsibility for their own learning,” said Collin. Swedberg, agricultural education teacher at North Platte High. School.

According to the Nebraska Department of Education, there are more than 320,000 students in the Nebraska public school system. Providing teachers with resources that encourage entrepreneurship is key to fostering entrepreneurship in the next generation of state business leaders.

“Teachers play a central role in the growth of young people,” said Costello. “The Guides Conference is strategically designed to help more teachers think entrepreneurially in the classroom. “

To learn more about opportunities to invest in aspiring entrepreneurs or connect local schools to the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship program, email Costello at [email protected]

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