Qualitative case study of mini-company experiences in five European countries
The Eastern Norway Research Institute (ENRI) has recently published the first research report presenting preliminary findings from the qualitative study in the ICEE project. The report sums up informants’ experiences with the learning process and the outcomes of participating in mini-companies.
The research in the ICEE is based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. The main data collection is through surveys to students, teachers, parents and business people in Belgium (Flanders), Estonia, Finland, Italy and Latvia. 25 schools participate in the study.
Teachers in the qualitative part of the ICEE research underlined that through the JA company programme students have been introduced to a new way of learning – project-based, where teamwork and cooperation are among the most important assets. Learning by doing is a new approach for most of the students, and the teachers observe a noticeable progression made by the students from the beginning of the school year to the end in terms of handling the many project challenges. Teachers relate to the students in a more respectful way as a result of gaining a closer relationship with the students and following their learning processes up close. Teachers and students find themselves on more equal terms, with relationships that are more informal and cooperative in nature. Some teachers also highlight the pedagogical advantages of this way of learning, by saying they feel they have gained a greater understanding of their students.