About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 834-840
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain

COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE AS A WAY OF ENHANCING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL PEDAGOGY IN UNIVERSITIES

K. Nordell

University of Turku (FINLAND)
The modern knowledge society is challenging academic teaching traditions. In addition to scientific knowledge university graduates are expected to have strong working life skills. The knowledge society is also changing the learning habits. At the moment the majority of traditional pedagogical methods at the universities include one-way communication on lectures and independent exercises which don’t prepare the graduates for the working life. To tackle these challenges, universities need to develop their curricula and teaching practices.

Community of practice (CoP) can be defined as a form of social learning where people who share a common interest in a certain subject collaborate over an extended period of time and working through various methods, e.g. sharing ideas and knowledge, solving problems, and determining solutions. (Wenger, 1998.) In this paper we present that academic teaching could be strongly improved by utilization of communities of practice. We see that adopting the characteristics of Communities of Practice could develop the academic teaching practices, offer tools for redesigning the courses and also improve the outcomes of the education. Entrepreneurial pedagogy emphasizes learning by doing, creative problem-solving, experimenting. Feedback through social interaction, close exposure to role models and interaction with the outside world are important features in entrepreneurial pedagogy. (Gibb, 2000.) Learning shouldn’t be bound to any specific time and place, but active learning can happen anywhere. Teachers act as facilitators by creating resources and contexts for the learning process, but in addition to teachers also other persons, such as fellow students or external experts, can facilitate learning. (e.g. Kyrö, 2006; Gibb, 2000.)

In university teaching we see the communities of practice as networks practicing entrepreneurial pedagogy, emphasizing the social aspect of learning and enhancing the university – society collaboration. In CoPs the students learn by doing and network with potential future employers, teachers improve their professional skills and organizations network with potential employees and get partners for their Research & Development & Innovation -projects. Nowadays versatile technological solutions are used in company sector to utilize the CoPs in everyday processes. We claim that through CoPs these technologies and practices could also be brought to universities to improve the effectiveness of the education.

We are currently conducting research on pedagogical practices at the University of Turku, Finland. The first round empirical data is collected by a survey and the target group of this survey is the teaching staff of the university. The preliminary research results show that in certain disciplines collaboration with companies and public organizations within a course is already a quite common and already existing practice - yet collaboration occurs still mainly in form of single quest lectures. Currently the communities of practices are not commonly utilized across the multidisciplinary university. However, the preliminary results also show that the teachers are interested in improving the collaboration and ready to utilize networks in order to develop their teaching.
@InProceedings{NORDELL2014COM,
author = {Nordell, K.},
title = {COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE AS A WAY OF ENHANCING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL PEDAGOGY IN UNIVERSITIES},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {834-840}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Nordell
TI - COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE AS A WAY OF ENHANCING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL PEDAGOGY IN UNIVERSITIES
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 834
EP - 840
ER -
K. Nordell (2014) COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE AS A WAY OF ENHANCING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL PEDAGOGY IN UNIVERSITIES, INTED2014 Proceedings, pp. 834-840.
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