I created the Bootstrapping Checklist as an entrepreneurial program for teens in the form of cyclical guided inquiry and because it is deeply simple and low-cost, it is immensely scalable.
Fundamentally, the Bootstrapping Checklist relies more on a cyclical philosophy of engaging with our world – this I borrowed from First Nations holistic ideals of sustainability, and also from Eastern philosophy (Buddhism primarily, and the Japanese concept of Kaizen, or continuous improvement).
There is also change management theory and social engineering mixed with business concepts, in the form of fully interdisciplinary project-based learning – which the kids love because they are practicing real business culture in a sustainable ‘service learning’ and socially innovative context – school is now ‘real’ for them.
The Bootstrapping Checklist is a shift away from too many ‘linear’ assignments for students, to a more holistic cyclical method of inquiry – and the Bootstrapping cycle lasts 5 months – we do it every Friday for 5 months (roughly 1 stage in the cycle/month). For the kids, they feel a sense of support knowing that they will have the time to work through a very deep inquiry, and still be able to work through the myriad of other assignments they encounter throughout the school year.
The program was put together with the hard work and commitment of myself and my students, and with support from global mentors with whom I constantly look to for guidance and support. This means that the Bootstrapping Checklist (and guided cyclical inquiry, however the form it takes), is immensely scalable, as long as a community has access to WiFi, cloud-based computing, mobile devices/computers, and adventurous teachers.
The program will become a registered charity once a suitable investor is found, and will develop into an Artificial Intelligence enabled module that will very quickly allow remote communities to ‘self-learn’ project management to solve local challenges and engage with the global community – but the teacher/coach/mentor/elder must always be present to facilitate any community learning, this is always critical.
Rich Baxter is an educator and advocate for social innovation, the arts, and entrepreneurial education in our public schools. The Bootstrapping Checklist was presented on December 5, 2016 in Philadelphia at the Reimagine Education Awards and exists in the Creative Commons as an open innovation project.
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