In addition to acquiring general literacy in secondary school and preparing for successful higher education, getting to know the world of work is also an important goal for students, not least for the foundation of good career choices. No matter how important it is, there is no easy situation for educational institutions. In most professions, in addition to the constant change of knowledge, in many cases the organization of tasks is also greatly altered.
More and more people need to be involved in one-off tasks for companies that create a unique result. Such can be the development of a new product in the pharmaceutical industry or the automotive industry, the development of a unique software development or the transformation of the internal processes of a company. In addition, projects are playing an increasingly important role in repetitive activities.
In the practice of domestic secondary education in Hungary, the project approach does not appear to the required extent. Therefore, three project leaders have decided to work on a volunteer approach to develop a practical approach to project approach, taking into account the recommendations of the PMI Educational Foundation for secondary school students. Based on the curriculum, the first course was completed in the first semester of the 2018/2019 academic year in one of the graduates of the Arany János Primary School and Grammar High School of Sashegy in Hungary.
The PROMISchool (PROject MindSet In Schools) “Project for Every School” program is designed to help students get to know the world of projects. In a modern project-oriented corporate organization, project management knowledge is not only important for a project leader, but a real value for all participants. On the other hand, some projects, such as buying a home, changing jobs, etc., play an important role in privacy. Therefore, most students can benefit from acquiring a project approach and developing some of the capabilities used in project management in the long run. Such soft skills are supported by the program: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and innovation.
The members of the teaching team implementing the project-based learning program were Mrs.Attilané Nyerges, a teacher, and Mr. Balázs Jereb (SIA Central Europe Zrt), Mr. Endre Németh (Angyal Business Consulting), and project managers Dr. Lajos Pálvölgyi (PMI Budapest, Hungarian Chapter).
In the theoretical part of the program, the most important phases of the projects and the basic knowledge related to the phases were worked out by the students, such as preparation, planning, implementation, closure. In the practical part, the department has formed five project teams, each of which has individually selected projects, operating as a project organization. It was a big dilemma whether the projects could be selected from a list suggested by the trainers or whether they would be completely independent. Afterwards, it was a very good decision that student groups set their own goals for the project, because it was a great motivation for most groups.
It is worth noting that several of the five projects have also encountered problems that occur in real life. There was a project that was only prepared by the deadline to significantly reduce the planned project scope, there was a group that chose a topic that was too difficult (scheduling) and therefore had to choose a new topic on the go.
As an important message, the trainers experienced that a significant part of the goals set by the students were not just nice, but also brought real value to the school community. One group, for example, launched a school newspaper, and two other groups transformed a school corner into a smart resting place, a community space of its own. There was a group that put up a financially-calculated renovation plan for the renovation of the gymnastics that saw the most beautiful days, and the fifth team's film made its debut at the end of January 2019.
On the basis of the positive feedback received, the Teaching Team sees a sense of invested work and it would be worthwhile to continue working with other secondary schools or higher education institutions within the framework of PMI.
Several students indicated at the end of the semester that they had developed their cooperation skills, process vision and organizational skills. These feedbacks were the greatest recognition for the initiators. However, there were indications that the program could be improved. Perhaps the most striking thing was that after the project program was completed, one of the groups continued their work and continued to work to improve their community space.
Organizers are pleased to welcome trainers and practitioners to exchange experiences or co-operate in project-based learning in secondary or higher education, or to participate in such projects or would like to participate in such projects. (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org )
- Mountains. The XII. District citizens' page
- Website of Sashegyi Arany János High School
- PMI Budapest, Hungarian Chapter: Project Pedagogy
- PMI Budapest, Hungarian Chpater: Project Education Conference Report
- ResearchGate: Project Management and Project Education (Downloadable Conference Study)