What do the schools of the future look like? For some, micro-society schools may be the answer. Founded by educator George H. Richmond, the micro-society model creates learning environments in grades K-12 that allow students to apply classroom knowledge to a real world setting. The program uses teamwork exercises, service learning, and entrepreneurial education to help students connect learning to life in real, tangible ways.

One such micro-society school located in south Austin, Cunningham Elementary, is shaping students into entrepreneurs to give meaning to all that reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Each grade level has its own business venture, as well as individual student-led ventures. Students often stay after school to work on business plans, talk about budgets and how to deal with the “bank” in order to finance their projects.

The money is fake, but everything else is real. Before students can sell their products, they have to conduct market surveys, write business plans, pitch in front of investors, and take loans from a bank.

The micro-society model is helping empower kids and reinforce the message that learning has meaning. You can hear more about Cunningham Elementary in our Upgraded by Hobsons podcast segment:

Elementary students are highly engaged and naturally curious. Helping students better understand the connection between schoolwork and the outside world can help foster lifetime self-exploration that leads to long-term success in school and in life. While the micro-society model is one approach to help students connect learning to life, tools like Naviance for Elementary School can also help expand students’ worlds at a young age.

Naviance for Elementary School helps ensure equal exposure to college knowledge and career pathways for all students. To learn more, visit our website.

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