"Dozens of Finnish sixth-graders are standing nervously in cubicles in a 6,000 square-foot space resembling a miniature city, equipped with its own city hall, grocery store, and bank...For weeks, these sixth-graders have prepared in their classrooms for this one-day visit, studying the topics of entrepreneurship, working life, citizenship, and the economy. In their cubicles, these 12- and 13-year-olds carefully review their daily schedules and professional responsibilities on iPads, as trained adults offer their assistance... "
"The first shift begins at 10:45 a.m., and the miniature city springs to life. The profit of every business is at stake, as is its reputation. Some children start with free time, in which they fetch their own bank cards, allowing them to purchase goods and services from the city’s other businesses. Most sixth-graders begin working: Bosses pay the salaries of employees (through a digital banking system) and establish contracts with the city’s energy and waste-management companies, while other professionals turn their attention to customer service. The place buzzes as the 80 children role-play..."
"Although Me & MyCity is already internationally recognised as innovative, this Finnish learning model was in part inspired by an American program called `BizTown,` started by an organization called Junior Achievement. According to Pasi Sahlberg, Finland has a habit of borrowing pedagogical ideas from the United States, developing them, and implementing them on a national scale..."
"Based on the results, Panu Kalmi—a professor of economics at Finland’s University of Vaasa and the author of the study—concluded that participation in Me & MyCity was `clearly` associated with greater economic knowledge. Furthermore, more than 75 percent of sixth-graders reported that the program increased their interest in economic issues and saving money."
"Perhaps more than anything else, Me & MyCity has achieved impressive learning results in Finland because it offers young children a rare taste of working life, which makes this thing called `school` seem much more purposeful."
Role playing in preparation for working life, or something else?
Introducing 'Global Cities: The 2016 Report', by Knight Frank. http://bit.ly/1NIAcU6