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TES Virtual Guide in Belgium Flanders

Ben Peeters, TES National Coordinator in Belgium Flanders

How can the TES Virtual Guide support the focus on entrepreneurship education in your country?

If a teacher wants to stimulate students’ entrepreneurial behaviour, he/she has to build up an entrepreneurial learning environment. Vlajo, JA organisation in Belgium Flemish, puts a lot of effort in supporting teachers to create that environment. Within the Company Programme, for example, the participants have to be creative, use brainstorming techniques, give presentations and make use of different resources and technological systems. Blended learning is an important element to realise the entrepreneurial teaching. In this framework, the TES Virtual Guide is a strategic tool as it allows to provide teachers and students with many high quality materials to use.

Have you had any feedback from teachers about the TES Virtual Guide?

I got many positive feedbacks from teachers using the TES Virtual Guide. Just to mention some of them:

  • Now I have inspiration to use new teaching methods and create more challenging tasks (Teacher trainee BALO Howest Brugge).
  • A lot of interesting things to try out in front of the classroom! (Teacher trainee BALO Howest Brugge).
  • It’s an incentive to think about their own teaching style (Teacher Basisschool Wonderwijzer Zutendaal).
  • I learned new interesting activities to use in the learning corners (Teacher SKB Leuven).
  • A lot of challenging activities to motivate my students (Teacher SKB Leuven). 

What are the next steps regarding the TES Virtual Guide? How do you plan to reach more teachers and more users?

Vlajo provides Flemish education with specific teacher trainings for primary and secondary education. Within these trainings, TES Virtual Guide plays an important role as it allows us to include technologies in our trainings and to focus on a blended learning approach. The TES Virtual Guide is also used during the Company Programme, where students are asked to use some of the tools and methods available on the Guide (Vlajo coordinates about 1.500 Company Programmes - +10.000 students - each year).

Ann Van Dievoet, Teacher, Belgium Flanders

What is your experience with the TES Virtual Guide?

At my school, we use the TES Virtual Guide in order to look for other learning methods for entrepreneurial teaching.

Which tool is the one that you would suggest to your colleagues and why?

We use the tool of the mini-company since several years in our school. This method brings entrepreneurial skills and competences to our students. It allows to provide students with a real experience and understanding of the world of business in terms of coming up with a business concept; working on a business plan; taking responsibility and being accountable to their shareholders for their company. This method helps students develop attitudes and skills necessary for personal success and employability, plus it gives them an insight into self-employment, business creation, risk taking and coping with adversity.

What feedback did you receive from students in class about the entrepreneurial tools you are using? 

Our students are very fond of this method, the mini-company. In interviews after they are graduated, we ask them which experience they definitely remembered as being key-part of their education. All of our students mentioned the mini-company as the most useful experience they have got in their study career in secondary education. This is very grateful for us as teachers as we put a lot of effort in guiding students towards this outcome.

Can you share with us an interesting story?

At the end of the 6th year, our students have to defend their thesis on their experience in the mini-company. They usually do this task with a lot of passion and enthusiasm for their project. They really prove in which domain they excel. This gives them a lot of confidence and knowledge for their further choices in life: studies in higher education and professional choices.

Is there something that you would change or improve in TES Virtual Guide?

No. You need to know how useful is the Virtual Guide for our secondary schools in Belgium.