DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION SKILLS AMONG HIGHER EDUCATION TEACHERS: LESSONS LEARNED IN IDEATE PROJECT
As Europe is not fully exploiting its entrepreneurial potential, education has an important role to play. For instance, the EU 2020 strategy highlights the need to embed creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship into education. There is a need to stimulate the entrepreneurial mindsets of young people and to create a more favorable societal climate for entrepreneurship. (Effects and impact of entrepreneurship programmes in higher education, 2012).
Entrepreneurship Education (EE) is seen as a way to provide skills which the students will need in the changing work life in future. It sets challenges to the way of teaching and the current paradigm of pedagogics. Teaching entrepreneurship requires different methods than the “conventional” way of education (Gibb 1996, Fayolle 2006). It requires a new approach based on action and practice.
In order to implement the new approach with novel teaching methods, it is utterly important to train the teachers (Ruskovaara and Pihkala 2015). A short teacher training on EE is able to introduce entrepreneurship as a concept, objectives of EE, a concept of entrepreneurial pedagogy as well as some methods to foster students’ entrepreneurial attitude. The primary goal of such a training is to affect teachers’ perceptions and attitudes towards entrepreneurship.
The IDEATE project financed by the Life Long Learning Programme of the EU aimed at changing higher education (HE) through the use of innovative, interdisciplinary teaching methods and enabled to develop and run a teacher training programme for HE teachers.
The IDEATE teacher training was run in four countries, Finland, Lithuania, Slovenia and UK. In this article we concentrate on the development of the teacher training that is what is a suitable form and content of such a training. In addition, this paper describes the content and methods of the teacher training executed in the IDEATE project (total number of participants 56). The pilot of the training was held at University of Turku, Finland and the three following trainings at Vilnius Business College, Lithuania, University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia and Staffordshire University, UK. The writers were involved in the development and delivery of the trainings. The trainings are evaluated by the feedback of the participants in the end of the trainings and also by the discussions with the participant and by critical evaluation of the writers themselves.
The paper describes the EE for HE teachers developed and the progress done after the pilot training. The paper discusses the goals and the content of the training and reviews it with help of evaluations gathered. The paper identifies some differences between the four countries.
The recommendations for a good teacher training in EE are presented. The training should include broad view to entrepreneurship and EE, which makes it relevant to teachers from different disciplines. The training should make the EE feasible for the HE teachers by introducing practical pedagogy as well as new tools and methods to implement EE.
To summarize, a two days training for HE teachers can be an initiation to introduce EE to the HE and give new insight how to implement aspects of entrepreneurship into the teaching of any discipline.