It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Micro-Lending

Every year I wonder, will I launch the question, "How can we model microlending in our own community?" and get a different result?  Every year I wonder, if I get the same result for modeling this question, is it truly PBL? And every year I realize, what seems like the obvious answer to me (the process of which 4 classes have chosen before them), what seems like the answer the students will just "know" because they have been part of the community and project from the outside, is really far from their minds. 

Over the past few days I have set the ground work for launching the second component to our year long micro lending investigation.  Students now understand what is and what micro lending is.  They also have some baseline statistics about poverty and the world population.  So we spent a few days discussing financial literacy, the concept of banking and who may or may not have access to banks around the globe.   

Today, we started our day with a quick brainstorm of "who" might make a good fit for the different components of the micro lending process from within our community. I let the boys know that while they had a lot of choice, that I would in fact have to place some rules into the modeling process along the way.  I then put the boys into 4 groups, and gave each of them a role to brainstorm (Lender, Borrower, Kiva Platform and Field Partner).  I was impressed with their brainstorm.  Financial Literacy EVERYWHERE?  Great!

In the end, after much deliberation and looking at the roles in different ways, thinking about the roles critically and creatively, the boys decided on a modeling process quite like the years before them.  And while on one end I want to question if this is ok, on the other end I have to accept the reality which was that while I may have known that was a great way to model it from the beginning, a whole lot of reflection and discussion went into these budding entrepreneurs coming up with it.  Join the Town School class of 2019 on their journey!  Stay tuned...