10 SES 05 A, Teacher Educators: Entrepreneurship and Identity
According to the European Key Competence Framework, the entrepreneurship key competence refers to “an individual’s ability to turn ideas into action”. This ability contains “creativity, innovation and risk taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives”. The teaching of this competence is thought to be developed through “mindsets, generic attributes and skills that are the foundations of entrepreneurship” as well as complementary and more specific instruction on business education. The inclusion of entrepreneurship as a key competence into national curriculum standards all over the European Union, is making teacher education to face hitherto unknown pressures. Furthermore, because teachers are being pointed as a critical success factor in the entrepreneurship development (European Commission, 2011) entrepreneurship education for teachers is gaining considerable importance.
There are two main reasons why the European Reference Framework has been quick to adopt entrepreneurship as a competence. On one hand, Europe is facing several changes and challenges which may only be overcome if the region can count on a well educated population with the ability to innovate and initiate new projects and ideas. On the other hand, society and government repeatedly insist that we need a more dynamic economy aimed at innovation and job creation. This is meant to be a requirement which apparently would only be satisfied if Europe has a greater number of young people who are determined to undertake new projects and equipped with entrepreneurial skills. As part of its social dimension, education may have to address these new demands, and education systems are now expected to play a fundamental role in the building of an entrepreneurial culture in the region. The pressure this puts on school systems becomes even clearer when noticeable new education laws and political initiatives are being passed, both at the national and European levels, which stress the need of developing entrepreneurship education. (OECD, 2001 and 2005; Recommendation 2006/962/CE of the European Parliament and Council; LOE, 2006; Conclusiones del Consejo 2012/C 393/02; LOMCE, 2013). The education of future teachers is not alien to this new reality, and the need for training teachers in this new competence is emerging as a new feature of expected teachers’ professional skills (European Commission, 2013). Furthermore, research literature on entrepreneurship competence has demonstrated how important school settings are for developing a more entrepreneurial spirit in our societies (Seikkula-Leino, Ruskovaara, Ikävalko, Mattila, Rytkölä, 2012; Eurydice, 2012; Bernal Guerrero, 2014; Jiménez Palmero, Palmero, Cámara and Jiménez Eguizábal, 2012). However, there is a decided lack of more theoretical studies focusing on the meaning and the pedagogical implications of this new teachers’ task.
This paper aims to analyse what the implications are of developing entrepreneurship competence within teacher education programs. The research questions are as follows: What do we mean by “entrepreneurship” in teacher education? How does this affect our idea of what makes a “good teacher”? What are the main points of the political agenda driving this growth of interest on entrepreneurship education?
Backström-Widjeskog, B., (2010). Teachers’ perspective on “Entrepreneurship Education”. EU Thematic Forum on School-Business Cooperation 24-25.3.2010, Brussels.
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