A Good Head for Business

By Griffiths, Jenni | Teaching Business & Economics, Spring 2008 | Go to article overview

A Good Head for Business


Griffiths, Jenni, Teaching Business & Economics


Business subjects have increased in popularity over the years and there have been many efforts to make the subject accessible to a larger number of students, many of whom may be of middle or low ability. But what of the higher achiever who arrives in the classroom? What can be done to identify and challenge students with a head for business?

There are many definitions of "the gifted and talented learner" within education. Generally, gifted students are deemed to be the top 5-10 per cent of the pupil population of a school, capable of demonstrating higher levels of academic performance, either in one subject or across many areas.

Talented students on the other hand have specific aptitudes, such as excellent physical or creative abilities. In our school, we extend this definition to include students with outstanding leadership skills and/or a social awareness that enables them to work effectively with a wide range of people. Could these students be the entrepreneurs of tomorrow?

What do these twin definitions mean for business studies education? The national curriculum subjects have subject-specific guidance for teaching gifted or talented students but we do not. Our department devised its own guidelines and came up with two distinct lists (see panels) that typified gifted and talented students within the business classroom.

The challenge

Our next step was to compare these attributes with the students in front of us. Armed with our own experience, plus the plethora of cognitive data that is provided for us, we concluded that:

only a few students exhibited characteristics from both lists

those who demonstrated entrepreneurial capabilities were often middle-high ability rather than the brightest students

some low-ability students demonstrate outstanding leadership or team working skills

some of the brightest students lacked entrepreneurial attributes.

Given that these subsets exist, our challenge is to motivate both the gifted and the talented in groups at GCSE and A level that are largely mixed ability in nature.

Closer inspection of our own practice revealed a tendency to teach to the middle and use teaching styles that helped engage the low achiever or disaffected. We find that our students respond well to learning activities that are based on role plays, presentations, mini enterprises and decision-making exercises. Students are given many opportunities to be creative, and they demonstrate their learning in nontraditional ways and are frequently invited to take part in extracurricular enterprise events.

Students enjoy their experiences, generally perform well in the exams (but obtain mainly B and C grades rather than A/A*) and respectable numbers opt for business courses in the sixth form. Consequently we reflected that we were probably quite good at developing the entrepreneurial talents of students. But were we catering effectively for the most able?

Focus groups

To gain a better understanding of how the more able students felt about their business education, we organised focus groups of students in years 10 and 11. We wanted to find out how they perceived the subject, what they enjoyed and disliked, and most importantly to identify how we could stretch them so that that they not only achieved A/A* grades, but also developed enterprise capabilities at the same time.

The study revealed that the most able chose business at GCSE because they believed that it is perceived by employers to be a "useful" subject. They took it seriously, believing it to be an option for "smart people" who "want to get on". They thought it had status, that it would be hard work with "serious content" but also different, fun, interesting and enjoyable.

Having started to study business they all agreed that it was not as difficult as they first believed and that the group activities, presentations, computer-based and research-type tasks were really enjoyable.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Good Head for Business
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.