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In the first half of November, the grades nine and ten students and staff of THINK Global School engaged in a project that blended their learning and travels into an exciting mock business venture.
The Tea Project was born from an acknowledgement that the world of education has a key role to play in developing graduates furnished with the necessary skills to compete in the business arena. Our starting point was an examination of what exactly those skills look like to employers. Hence, the distillation of key points from the “10 skills that employers say they want in 20-something employees” survey, conducted on behalf of employers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, and reported by Forbes.
The interdisciplinary project was therefore designed to enable students to engage in the key areas of problem solving, decision making and communication — all framed by the demanding parameters of a “Dragon’s Den” style competition.
The Business of Tea
The Business of Tea documentary was created to chronicle the preparation, duration and evaluation of the Tea Project in its locations of Munnar and Hyderabad, India.
Immediate reflections by the students indicated to us that the Tea Project was a success. Three months after the completion of this interdisciplinary unit, grade ten student Fatima, of Morocco, informed us of her own pursuits in business, inspired by the project in India.
While our placed-based, interdisciplinary experimentation presented us with learning opportunities as educators for future endeavors, it is evidence like the quote below from Steve Carlton that verifies the value of projects like these:
The leadership and teamwork skills displayed by the students of TGS in The Business of Tea are characteristics that I value highly in my own team members. Their experiences in Kerala and on this project will translate well in the business world.
– Steve Carlton, Vice President Product Management and Planning at Fujitsu
As a school, we are committed to the continued development of similar workplace-tailored skills; we are presently working as a team of educators to coordinate collaborative projects in next year’s host cities of Auckland, Istanbul, and Athens.