University of Beira Interior (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 454-463
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain
Entrepreneurial pedagogy and entrepreneurial learning have become issues of growing importance in several educational systems all over the world. Probably this relevance is more evident for developing countries that need to promote the human and economic development. In Mozambique, for instance, the Entrepreneurship Curriculum Programme (ECP) was implemented under the auspices of this aim, trying primarily to tackle unemployment in young people (INDE, 2009). To start its implementation into general education and vocational/professional secondary schools throughout the country the UNIDO "Entrepreneurship development for the youth" project, began first the teacher training. Using interactive and participatory methods, the UNIDO team built up a course for students lasting two hours per week plus four hours of practical work that was carefully explained to teachers involved in ECP.

After its implementation which began in 2004 with a pilot-experience involving four schools (UNIDO, 2012), in 2013 a team of experts was called to evaluate the teachers’ perception of the educational programme. A total of 32 schools were thereby selected where, mixing both qualitative and quantitative research, 85 questionnaires were passed to the teachers imparting the discipline of the ECP “Notions of Entrepreneurship”, and 51 educational agents (mostly the schools’ executive and pedagogical directors) were interviewed.

The results of the ECP evaluation regarding teachers indicate that when we sought to ascertain the teachers’ opinion about the alignment between the NE subject and the secondary school mission they highlight two aspects, which also reflect two possible approaches to entrepreneurship (e.g. Lumpkin and Dess, 1996): one more related to entrepreneurial attitudes or spirits ("Solving problems through creativity") and the other more functional, associated with the perspective of creating one’s own business ("Entering the job market"). Teachers were also asked about the importance attributed to the NE subject and their answers reflected a greater emphasis on the instrumental aspect of training comparative to the behavioural aspects. As regards the several educational agents interviewed, there is broad agreement on the subject’s positive effects on the attitudes and behaviours of students. With regard to the direct impacts on teachers, they strongly agreed that the course held great importance for their own level of preparation and the educational agents interviewed mentioned positive aspects related to their attitudes and behaviours - particularly concerning the shift to more entrepreneurial behaviours. The application of practical teaching methodologies was a key point of this educational project. Some methods were progressively rolled out in secondary education through these courses.

The study revealed some concerns related with the need to consolidate/strengthen the teaching staff by continually improving their education/training and investing in their specialisation; the need to take into account subject implementation: not merely limited to theoretical expounding; and the need for firm links with companies and other institutions; the importance of the subject’s evaluation systems to student commitment and motivation; and the need to incorporate the NE subject in a wider process of changing mentalities.
Entrepreneurship education, Secondary school, Teacher, Developed countries.