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Results and impact
We set out to combine the TOY model and the ES tool, and to develop a new set of methodologies based on that. Each partner would pilot both methods, and we planned to develop common European outputs, which would then be translated to the languages of the partners. Read more at the Project page http://iepsjemappes.be/entretoy/project/.
However, the results of the piloting showed that both methods needed a lot of localising before they could be used in the partner countries: what worked well in one country wasn’t possible in another country, due to legislation, the educational structures etc. Therefore, each partner ended up making their own localised versions suited for the circumstances of their own country. As a result, we now have a wide package of very well localised, tested products.
During the piloting, we also learned that though the TOY model and the ES tool are very different – the ES being an evaluation and planning tool for an organisation and the TOY model being a pedagogical approach. Yet, together they offer an excellent toolkit for schools wishing to develop their entrepreneurship education. The best way is to use the ES tool first to evaluate the current state of entrepreneurship education in the organisation, and if pedagogical development is needed, the TOY model presents the ideal solution. After implementing the TOY model a couple of years, it is a good idea to renew the ES questionnaire to see the effects of the TOY model. The ES questionnaire can also be shortened and modified into a yearly quality management tool useful in the continuous development of entrepreneurship education, as was done in Finland. Or as a start-up (or student project) team evaluation tool for understanding the current situation and the mindset within the team.
As a result of the staff workshops and the piloting of the TOY model in Poland, Greenland and Belgium, the teachers’ and trainers’ pedagogical and transversal skills improved vastly – the teaching staff involved in the piloting are now ambassadors of pedagogical change in their organisations. The partners report that where the piloting has been carried out, the teaching is really changing towards active, learner-centred methods and coaching instead of lectures! Yet we would like to emphasize that the change from lectures to learning by doing and coaching is a huge change of mindset and perspective, which is never easy and demands support from others, particularly the management. The piloted applications of the TOY model and methodologies based on coaching have been integrated into the daily lives of the partners, and the piloting is winning ground with other professional fields with increasing numbers of students. In Estonia and in Poland, thanks to the huge success of the piloting, new coaches were being trained during the project at the regional level, and the training is gradually widening beyond the region.
All partners noticed that the TOY model offers an excellent method to empower the students and improve their initiative as well as transversal skills – to make them consciously responsible for their lifelong learning journey. Thus it is no wonder that the Regional Labour office in Bialystok discovered that it works perfectly for the clients of a labour office: of the first 47 unemployed people trained, 21 started their own business! Next, the TOY model is planned to be extended for released prisoners in Poland.