Fostering Entrepreneurial Learning in Teacher Education
The paper focuses on presenting
Keywords: Entrepreneurial educationentrepreneurship competenceentrepreneurial learning
Entrepreneurial education must be considered nowadays an important instrument to address the
challenges of the 21st Century. Defining entrepreneurship as an individual’s ability to
objectives, the European Commission is focusing on promoting the learning about entrepreneurship from
primary school through to university and considers that the success of the European Union in meeting the
challenges of competitiveness and economic growth to depend on
respect, education should develop awareness of entrepreneurship from an early age. Introducing young
people to entrepreneurship develops their initiative and helps them to be more creative and self-confident
in whatever they undertake and to act in a socially responsible way (EU, 2004).
Thus, the Commission recommendations include the necessity for Member States to develop more
systematic strategies to promote entrepreneurship training through: a) a coherent framework; b) support
for schools; c) fostering entrepreneurship in higher education; d) support for teachers; e) participation by
external actors and businesses; f) practical experience.
Based on these recommendations, it is necessary to revise the curriculum to explicitly include
entrepreneurship as an educational objective, to support teachers in incorporating entrepreneurial
activities in curriculum, design new teaching materials, implement projects, partner with businesses on
entrepreneurial training of teachers or setting up and running mini-companies.
Also, in 2006, and reinforced in 2012 in its
Commission included entrepreneurship as one of eight
knowledge-based society. It became an important objective at national level being included in the
educational strategy of all Member States. The entrepreneurship key-competence is defined as
and risk taking as well as ability to plan and manage projects (EU, 2006).
2.From Entrepreneurship Education to Entrepreneurial Learning
Based on this educational aim, in 2016, the EU developed the
proposes a shared definition of entrepreneurship as a competence, with the aim to raise consensus among
all stakeholders and to establish a bridge between the educational institutions and workplace. It is set to
become a reference
citizens. It consists of 3 interrelated and interconnected competence areas:
building blocks of entrepreneurship as a competence. The framework develops the 15 competences along
an 8-level progression model and proposes a comprehensive list of 442 learning outcomes.
nurturing personal development, to actively participating in society, to (re)entering the job market as an
employee or as a self-employed person, and also to starting up ventures (cultural, social or commercial).
The framework can be used as a basis for the development of curricula and learning activities
fostering entrepreneurship as a competence. Also, it can be used for the definition of parameters to assess
learners’ and citizens’ entrepreneurial competences (Bacigalupo et all., 2016).
Defining the entrepreneurship competence as the capacity to capitalize the opportunities and ideas
to create shared and added value for others, we can made the shift form entrepreneurship education, that
aims at developing individuals competence to start new businesses and initiatives, to
educational activities and curriculum to foster a new generation of learning activities (e.g.
We can hardly reduce entrepreneurial learning to fixed pre-specified statements of learning
outcomes since it deals with the creation of value that does not exist, prior to the entrepreneurial learning
process and cannot be foreseen in abstraction, but the framework of learning outcomes statements is
important to be developed as a reference point for the formal education and training sector, for curricula
design, for the non-formal learning context and to guide the definition of tailored pedagogies, assessment
methods, and learning environments that foster effective entrepreneurial learning (Bacigalupo
In this context, the
organizing and developing - into interdependence - the formal-non-formal-informal curriculum. It
restructures the school curriculum, presenting itself as a new paradigm of education (Soare, 2008). This
perspective overcomes the narrow approach of entrepreneurship education that is linked with developing
the competences to start a new business, the entrepreneur being the results of such education (Soare,
2008, 11-15). It focusses on developing the key-competence of entrepreneurship in teacher education by
restructuring the curriculum for pre-service and in-service teacher education programmes with effects on
future teachers’ development of competence profile.
It will foster the development of essential skills and attitudes like creativity, initiative, tenacity,
teamwork, understanding of risks and opportunities, and thus, developing the sense of responsibility as a
key competence mind-set that will help students transform their ideas into action and later, significantly
increases their employability.
This means a new way of looking at teachers’ competence profile by including the development of
entrepreneurial competence, resulting in a new type of teacher – the
teacher that approaches teaching and learning form an entrepreneurial perspective, innovating, being
creative, and developing educational projects in order to meet the professional and social challenges. This
attitude towards teaching will determine a new focus on developing students’ entrepreneurial approach of
the activity e.g. the
3.Entrepreneurial Competence Framework
Furthermore, there is established the long-term framework when
education and training to support growth and business creation; b) removing existing administrative
barriers and supporting entrepreneurs in crucial phases of the business lifecycle; c) reigniting the culture
of entrepreneurship in Europe and nurturing the new generation of entrepreneurs (EU, 2013).
So, the policy context is set for implementing in teacher education new approaches on teaching
and learning. Promoting entrepreneurship in teacher education programmes seeks to enable teachers and
teacher students to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the personal, professional and
social challenges they face by putting their ideas, initiatives, creativity into practice. This is the way
entrepreneurial learning is making its way into curriculum field.
As Langa (2015) demonstrates in his study, the transversal competences acquired by students for
the didactic profession is of a great importance. This aspect is all the more important so as persons with
the same level and the same register of competences obtain different results in the activity, on the whole.
The factors explaining such differences are related to the general elements of transversal competences,
among which: personal development, lifelong learning, autonomy and responsibility, critical thinking and
reflexive practice, cooperation, observance of professional deontology principles, communication and
In order to develop this competence, teachers can choose for the use of certain methods and
teaching aids, and for certain forms of organization of student work, aiming at stimulating different
intelligences in students, and taking into account the students' intelligence profile (Petruța, 2016).
It becomes clear that teachers need to become more entrepreneurial in their approach of teaching
and learning and that will be possible by rethinking teacher education programmes to include more
relevant activities and training towards the development of teachers entrepreneurial competence. It should
starts by setting relevant criteria for their selection and professional development, a more attention to
linking theory with practice, guiding future teachers for the development of the specific professional
competences and a more focus on reflection on their academic practice and behavior and that can
contribute to the forging of the
As foreseen by the European Commission (2013b, p. 13), there are several key steps that can be
taken to put the profession of teacher educator onto a firmer footing: a) finding ways to achieve shared
definitions of professional competences – reflecting agreement on the multi-faceted knowledge,
experiences, skills and attitudes required for teacher educators to be effective in different contexts; b)
improving provision of professional learning and development; c) promoting investigation and research
about teacher educators; d) promoting active, committed professional communities and associations; and
e) clarifying roles and responsibilities.
4.Teaching and Learning Methods
The methods that can be used in developing the entrepreneurship competence can be grouped into
the following levels (EACEA, 2013): a) micro level – methods that can be introduced easily and
immediately; b) meso level – methods that may need wider agreement/resources; c) macro level –
methods that require changes to the curriculum.
The micro level refers to relevant initiatives that can take place in a classroom. It can include the
use of the following teaching & learning methods: blending ICT with entrepreneurship (digital story-
telling, blogging), real practice examples, group puzzles, action learning and self-oriented learning.
The meso level might require the involvement of the whole school, support from stakeholders or
other additional resources. They refer to: debate clubs, exercising marketing and selling, interviews with
entrepreneurs, creative idea generation and development, plan games, running of opinion surveys to
develop students’ ownership about their learning, use of simulation methods and the promotion of
The macro level represents the curricular policy implemented at local/regional/national level. They
might include: practice firms in schools, mini/junior companies, outdoor training, whole school projects,
project learning or introducing a
Following Keramat (2015) conclusions, we can identify the following methods that can be used in
entrepreneurial education: direct teaching-learning methods (inviting guest entrepreneurs, mentoring,
official speech-seminars, video watching and recording, training in extracurricular activities, training in
specialized lessons, small businesses mentoring, entrepreneurship tutoring), interactive teaching-learning
methods (process-oriented learning, learning from mistakes, interviewing entrepreneurs, bilateral
learning, group discussion, networking, problem-oriented learning, active learning), practical-operational
teaching-learning methods (role-playing, training workshops, site visiting, class practice, research
projects, internship, business planning, starting business, studying nature, investment projects, practical
Developing a common conceptual approach on teacher educator profession and promoting an
entrepreneurial ecosystem in educational institutions will create a reference point for any initiative
intending to foster entrepreneurial learning. A more focus on practical experiential learning experiences
will be needed in the teachers training programs. Designing learning contexts by involving real-life
entrepreneurs will make entrepreneurial learning more productive and efficient.
This can be possible only by developing a reference framework with learning outcome descriptors
explicitly defined and mandatory throughout the curriculum from primary, secondary, vocational to
higher and adult education contexts. Focusing curriculum on developing the entrepreneurship competence
and specific levels of proficiency will be possible by implement entrepreneurial teaching and learning
methods in the classrooms. Only by connecting entrepreneurship education policies with teachers practice
we will promote the development of entrepreneurial learning as a pathway towards entrepreneurial
competence of teachers and students in the educational context.
- EACEA (2013), Entrepreneurship Education and the Future of Learning. Thematic Report, Vienna.
- Keramat E., Rahmatallah M., Jafar T. (2015). Teaching learning methods of an entrepreneurship curriculum. J Adv
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- Langa, C., (2015). The contribution of transversal competences to the training of the educational sciences
- specialist, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 180/2015 (pp. 7-12).
- Bacigalupo, M., Kampylis, P., Godelieve, I.P., (2016). EntreComp: The Entrepreneurship Competence Framework.
- Science for Policy report. Joint Research Centre, the European Commission.
- Petruța, G.-P., (2016). Possibilities of stimulating intelligence in students during the biology lessons using mozaWeb online platform. Lucrări Științifice, Seria Agronomie, Ion Ionescu de la Brad Publishing House, Iaşi (pp. 347-352).
- Soare, E., (2008). Educația antreprenorială. Ultima provocare a scolii. [Entrepreneurial Education. The actual school challenge]. V. & I. Integral Publishing House, Bucuresti.
- *** EU, (2013a). The Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan.
- *** EU, (2013b). Supporting Teacher Educators for better learning outcomes *** EU, (2006). The Education & Training 2010 Work Programme.
- *** EU, (2004). Promoting entrepreneurship in schools and universities. Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - Action Plan: The European agenda for Entrepreneurship [COM(2004) 70].
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