How we organize ourselves: An inquiry into how marketing influences the choices we make

I have not been able to keep up the daily diary. It was a good start, but the notes were more useful for me personally than anything else.

The unit has been arranged in a very simple inquiry cycle: PLAN – ACT – REFLECT. Most of the postings here were related to the first stage, although there were mini cycles during planning stage as well!

The planning stage involved the students planning for their business and focusing on the purpose of marketing. It involved a lot of investigation of how others market their services and products.
The action stage was related to Marketing Strategies and Techniques, which was also part of the planning process. The students inquired into different strategies and how they suit the different purposes. They then chose appropriate means to market their product and service to attract customers. Their common goal was to raise as much money as possible for charity.

The second part of the action stage involved…. the businesses in action. I was not present for that as I went to the IB in Cardiff for those days, but the feedback was both positive and negative. The students needed a lot of support and showed little independence. Most of them left at the end of the day, leaving their businesses to be cleaned up by the teachers. However, they used many marketing strategies while they were in action, including a massive “50% off during the last 5 minutes” from the Bake Sale. They sold out completely.

The amazing thing were the parents. They were so supportive and helped us to raise a stunning 540 Euro!

The last (short, too short) week was spent on reflection. There was so much to do. The students needed to work on a reflective presentation of their business (which they presented on Friday afternoon to parents and teachers). It wasn’t very helpful that a lot of students had already gone away on winter break. There were about 5 students in my class of 11 alone who missed out on the important reflection step.

Other concluding elements included:

  • A written response to: What the central idea means to me now? How has it changed?
  • A free choice response to: Sum up your experience of the unit of inquiry
  • Sharing expertise and asking last questions: Students choose (human graphing) which line of inquiry they are most comfortable and least comfortable with. Questions are exchanged and “experts” try to answer them

It was a lot of work for our short, 3-day week. Especially with PE/Music on Wednesday and Swimming on Friday morning. But we made it and the presentations were amazing!


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