The specification for junior cycle business studies focuses on improving students’ understanding of the business environment and on developing skills for life, work and further study through the three inter-connected strands: Personal Finance , Enterprise and Our Economy .
Personal Finance focuses on students developing a set of skills, knowledge and values that allows them to make informed decisions to effectively and responsibly manage their financial resources.
Enterprise encourages students to identify opportunities and turn them into practical and targeted activities within business and wider society through the development and application of their understanding, skills and values. It develops students’ basic understanding of the financial, marketing and operational functions of an organisation.
Our economy enables students to understand the dynamic relationship between the local, national and international economic situation. It develops students’ ability to identify and understand basic economic concepts as they relate to personal finance, enterprise and the Irish economy.
While the learning outcomes associated with each strand are set out separately in this specification, this should not be taken to imply that the strands are to be studied in isolation. The students’ engagement and learning are optimised by a fully integrated experience of Personal Finance , Enterprise and Our Economy. To give further emphasis to the integrated nature of learning, the outcomes for each strand are grouped by reference to three elements: Managing My Resources, Exploring Business, and Using Skills For Business.
Managing My Resources : Across the strands, the learning outcomes in this element focus on developing students’ awareness, knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of personal finance, enterprise and economics.
Exploring business: This element focuses on the context for business, looking at the themes of globalisation, sustainable development and consumerism. It enables students to reflect on the interconnectedness of business to the economy, society and environment, and encourages them to be active and responsible.
Using skills for business: This element broadens students’ understanding by enabling them to proactively apply their knowledge and skills to their own lives and in the dynamic business environment.
These elements describe a three-fold focus for learning in the business classroom. Each element particularly focuses on the goals of the learning process, that is, the acquisition of new knowledge, skills and values. As the students progress through each of the strands, there will be a systematic development of their fundamental knowledge, their principles and values, and key skills through each of the elements.