D. Ofstad, J. Sjøvoll

University of Nordland (NORWAY)
This article focuses on the concept of entrepreneurship, which, during the last 20 years, has undergone a translation process and a change of meaning from techno-economic, via a political to an educational context. The purpose of this paper is to go deeper into the “history of impact” of the entrepreneurship concept. We have in dialogue with some few thousand pages of texts, pre-understanding, prejudices and some experiences, studied the phenomenon “entrepreneurship”. The main research questions posed for this explorative study are:
How did the translation process progress and what kind of implications did it face during the implementation of the concept into the education context?
And more specific:
- How could this kind of “silent educational revolution” happen and how could an economic approach to teaching and training so heavily influence the Norwegian school system?
- Is it possible to arrive at a delineation of the sub-discipline of pedagogic entrepreneurship?
Based on a broad-spectrum approach, our aims are to analyse the discourse of entrepreneurship. We are searching for possible explanations of the translation process. We do it through studying the contexts that are involved, the route it has followed – and what kind of people that has participated as “actors”. We consider this participation both as historical actors, theory contributors and those who during postmodern times have transferred the concept into the education context. We will bring with us the tools the German philosopher, Hans Georg Gadamer, has provided us with through his hermeneutic theory. This theory has widened our perspectives and through that created new understanding. To find out as much as possible about the translation process of the concept of entrepreneurship, we needed to investigate and articulate its “history of impact”.
Our aims for this article are to put the entrepreneurship concept in a historical and theoretical context, seeking to follow the concept´s translation from the economic to the educational context, its entry into the European and Norwegian political context, and highlight the concept´s contextualisation into the Norwegian education system. The concept has influenced Norwegian education in more or less 20 years in various meanings. We have illustrated how the concept has gained its status today - and which processes it has been part of in order to obtain this status.