Busi­ness class opts for touch of re­al­ity

The West Australian - - WEST BUSINESS - Gareth Costa

Spy­ing a gap be­tween eco­nom­ics and ac­count­ing cour­ses, teacher Si­mon Brown adopted a more first­hand ap­proach to busi­ness man­age­ment and en­ter­prises stud­ies when in­tro­duc­ing it as an ATAR course at Methodist Ladies’ Col­lege at the start of the year.

The as­sis­tant head of the hu­man­i­ties and so­cial sciences depart­ment said rather than have stu­dents sim­ply study­ing the likes of Ap­ple or Qan­tas and writ­ing a re­port for as­sess­ment, he in­tro­duced a re­search project whereby stu­dents linked up with real Perth busi­ness­peo­ple and then re­ported back on cer­tain as­pects re­lat­ing to the syl­labus.

For­mer MLC stu­dent Lanna Hill, a small busi­ness coach, is part of the pro­gram.

“As a busi­ness owner that couldn’t ‘see’ en­trepreneur­ship as a valid ca­reer op­tion when I was at school, I am re­ally ex­cited to be giv­ing back and vol­un­teer­ing my time to be a part of this project,” she said.

“(I) be­lieve that the sub­ject has broader pos­i­tive im­pacts, rather than just the cur­ricu­lum it­self, such as en­cour­ag­ing crit­i­cal think­ing, re­silience and adapt­abil­ity, and cre­ative prob­lem solv­ing.”

There are now two classes to­talling 33 stu­dents study­ing the sub­ject in Year 11, about 25 per cent of the co­hort, and Mr Brown ex­pects an­other 30 to en­rol next year for a to­tal of five classes in Years 11 and 12, with the pos­si­bil­ity of some boys from neigh­bour­ing Christ Church Gram­mar School join­ing them.

“It’s ob­vi­ous par­ents and stu­dents were keen to have this other op­tion rather than eco­nom­ics, which some­times is a bit tech­ni­cal, and ac­coun­tancy, which is very niche,” he said. “Busi­ness sits re­ally well in be­tween them.

“Com­bin­ing busi­ness and eco­nom­ics, or busi­ness and

ac­coun­tancy, gives them a much more com­plete pic­ture.”

Mr Brown’s plans are to ex­pand the of­fer­ing at MLC and be seen as a sort of hub for busi­ness as a sub­ject. He is look­ing at po­ten­tial col­lab­o­ra­tions with other pri­vate schools.

Pic­ture: Nic El­lis

Si­mon Brown, a teacher of busi­ness at Methodist Ladies’ Col­lege and Lanna Hill, di­rec­tor of One Small Step, with MLC Year 11 busi­ness stu­dents Rochelle Zhu, left, Grace Mat­tes, Cindy Piong, Kexin Liu, Kira Daa­men and Mia Wa­ge­naar.

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