Entrepreneurial Education opportunities across the curriculum

Malcolm Hoare, Professor of Enterprise Education in Schools, Institute of Education, University of Derby

Research suggests that entrepreneurial  education in schools  works best when it is embedded across the whole curriculum rather than as a ‘bolt on’ added extra.

Case studies from some of the best schools show how teachers are introducing entrepreneurial knowledge and understanding, skills and aptitudes through the full and varied range of subject disciplines. Many of these opportunities occur naturally, generated both by the demands of the syllabus requirements and also through the broader aims of the school concerning citizenship and employability. Sadly these opportunities are not always identified and exploited to the full in all schools and  even where it is  happening  the positive impact on both student learning and on teacher professional development of such activities is sometimes not recognised and celebrated as  fully as it should be.

As an example, go into any school and at some point in the year there will be at least one dramatic production in preparation. Students will have had auditions for the acting parts and task specific interviews for the ‘support staff’. Selection is rarely based on academic ability but more usually on their ‘can do’ attitude i.e. their entrepreneurial capabilities including team working, risk taking, problem solving and decision making. Any student who wants to get involved will be allocated a task. Aside from the cast, there are opportunities to get involved with set design, costumes, lighting, front of house , marketing and promotion, health and safety, budgeting and cash control . Teachers will be facilitating rather than just delivering. In other words, giving students an opportunity to work in a realistic entrepreneurial environment where they are responsible for the success or failure of the venture.

The best schools will also be looking for community support to extend and develop their  Dramatic Arts provision, which is  where employer engagement can quite literally take the limelight. Many local theatres have developed a range of school initiatives and programmes  aimed at getting  more young people to experience the world of theatre. For the students involved in these link activities it can be life changing experience. Many of them will be encountering a totally new and unique experience, visiting a theatre as a place of work and seeing the range of skils and expertise required to run a successful enterprise ,suggesting to them career opportunities they had perhaps never imagined. This is employer engagement as it should be, raising aspirations and making a lasting, long term difference.

Category : entrepreneurship education Posted : 19 July 2016 05:48 UTC
About the Author
Malcolm Hoare, Professor of Enterprise Education in Schools, Institute of Education, University of Derby

Malcolm is Visiting Professor of Enterprise Education in Schools at the University of Derby and Visiting Professor of Enterprise Education at Lappeenranta University, Finland.
Malcolm worked as a teacher in secondary schools for twenty-three years before moving into higher education, first at Durham University Business School (DUBS) before joining the Centre for Education and Industry (CEI) at the University of Warwick. Malcolm led a team that worked with schools across England, ensuring best use of the CEI Enterprise Education Quality Framework. He joined the University of Derby in  2015.
Malcolm was a member of the team organising the high reflection panel for the European Commission on teacher training for enterprise and entrepreneurship for delegates from thirty European nations in Budapest in Spring 2011,Dublin in Autumn 2011 and Ljubljana in Summer 2012 . Subsequent to these events , he contributed to the final report, ‘Budapest 2011 Agenda for teacher training for enterprise and entrepreneurship’, published in Autumn 2011. Malcolm also worked on a Junior Achiever project, the Entrepreneurial School, an initiative which supports  teacher development across Europe.
Malcolm  served on the Advisory Group for Enterprise Education at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. He is an expert adviser to Entrepreneurship 360, an initiative launched by OECD and the Directorates General Education and Culture and Enterprise at the European Commission. He was also a member of the advisory group working with Lord Young and Number 10 on the review of enterprise education in schools and colleges.

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