New Pedagogy and Entrepreneurship Education

Karin Jaanson, Adviser at the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research

In a rapidly changing world driven primarily by technology, the calls for changing education paradigms and the ways in which we educate our children get louder and louder. This is mainly because neither children nor teachers are happy at school, and employers are unsatisfied with the skills of graduates when they enter the labour market.

When searching for the term “New Pedagogy” Google returns 3.590.000 results but it is hard to find how this new concept is connected to entrepreneurship education. At the same time you will find 15.600.000 results when searching for Entrepreneurship Education (EE).

EE has been in existence long before we ever heard of the term “New Pedagogy”. Instead of making schools more entrepreneurial, we try to make them more interesting. This raises the question as to whether EE has been pushed out from mainstream education paradigms before it was able to establish its rightful place or it was just lost in the transition to New Pedagogy?

The main features of New Pedagogy, or 21st century pedagogy , are very similar to EE. They emphasize the importance of employability and the readiness of students to enter the world of work together with the necessity to extend learning beyond the classroom in ways that are most relevant to knowledge building and problem solving. In addition, the learning competences of New Pedagogy (character, citizenship, communication, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, creativity and imagination) match the competences of entrepreneurship education. The only distinction one can make is that EE to date has not focused as much on the digital content revolution.

As pedagogy changes, so does EE

Due to the similarities between New Pedagogy and EE, changing the way of teaching and learning entrepreneurship is not a paradigm shift, rather an improvement and development of methods, practices and content.

Although EE has been in the spotlight of policy makers and educators for more than a decade, it is still relatively young in many parts of the world, and it is therefore important and necessary that this support is continued until entrepreneurship is embedded in a sustainable manner in schools and universities . This means that EE has not yet found an appropriate place within the education system in many countries and mainly depends on external contributors. Therefore, it is crucial that EE doesn’t get lost in the whirlwind of changes, but instead finds its right place within the mainstream of education.

In the development of EE, it is always relevant to make a distinction between EE as a method of learning and as a content of learning, because they require different approaches for integration into the education system and for development.

  • As a method of learning, integrating the digital skill development opportunities that the digital world can provide is of utmost importance. Digital is now everywhere and is a part of essential work skills; therefore, EE also has to enhance digital skills. Furthermore, the fact that technology enables 24/7 learning inside and outside the classroom needs to be taken into account.
  • As content (in a business context) development, it is paramount to address the new business opportunities through innovation, which is unveiling completely new horizons for the creation of companies through the usage of ICT and other technologies, and shaping the future economy in the process.

Now is the time to look ahead and envision how and where EE fits within the fabric of 21st century education. Look the aims and methods of New Pedagogy and find out where EE already has the answer, engage education stakeholders in a high-level debate about the relationship between New Pedagogy and EE.

A clear vision is required as a guide for educators, policy makers, students, parents, entrepreneurs and employers. Therefore, the chief stakeholders in EE have to be at the heart of the debate on shifting education paradigms for the 21st century. Without direction, we will find ourselves in a situation described by Lucius Seneca, the famous Roman philosopher, who said, “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable”.

Entrepreneurship education is about learners developing the skills and mindset to be able to turn creative ideas into entrepreneurial action. This is a key competence for all learners, supporting personal development, active citizenship, social inclusion and employability. It is relevant across lifelong learning process, in all disciplines of lerning and to all forms of education and training (formal, non-formal and informal) which contribute to the entrepreneurial spirit and behaviour, with or without commercial objective. (Definition developed by the Thematic Working Group on Entrepreneural Education)
New Pedagogies: renewed goals for education and learning, to include skills that prepare all learners to be life-long creative, connected and collaborative problem solvers and to be healthy, happy individuals who contribute to the common good in today’s globally interdependent world. We need our learning systems to encourage youth to develop their own visions about what it means to connect and flourish in their constantly emerging world, and equip them with the skills to pursue those visions.
Category : entrepreneurship education Posted : 25 August 2015 12:37 UTC
About the Author
Karin Jaanson, Adviser at the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research

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