Some Reflections from the Entrepreneurship Educator’s Mirror

O'Dwyer, Breda, McGowan, Pauric and Hampton, Alison (2016) Some Reflections from the Entrepreneurship Educator’s Mirror. AISHE-J: The All Ireland Journal of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education, 8 (1).


The context of this research is based on the European reference framework, which presented ‘Entrepreneurship and a sense of initiative’ as one of eight key competences for lifelong learning that citizens require in a knowledge-based society. The key competence ‘sense of initiative and entrepreneurship’ is defined as “an individual’s ability to turn ideas into action. It includes creativity, innovation and risk-taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives” (EU, 2013, p.8). These European developments and initiatives contribute to the growing evidence of the need for individually based entrepreneurial learning and for more entrepreneurship educators. “Teachers are key actors”, (EU, 2015, p.89).

Duening (2010) has attempted to develop the five minds of the future specifically to the five minds of the entrepreneurial future. However, realising that there is a difference between the cognitive thinking process for an entrepreneur and for a non entrepreneur means we will need to provide entrepreneurship educators “with a conviction that we know why we are doing and what we are doing in the entrepreneurship classroom”, (Duening, 2010, p. 20). Wilson and Beard (2003) have developed the learning combination lock model which acknowledges the inclusion of the five elements in the model: stimuli, our senses, the filtering process, interpretation and responses. This model is a key component to this research.

This paper is a small initial exploratory study based on a literature review and on four interviews across the primary, secondary and tertiary education levels to help establish a platform for a deeper analysis at the tertiary education level. To date, reflective based interviews using the Pictor Technique have helped to understand the role of learning, experience and key influencers in becoming an entrepreneurship educator. The proposed deeper analysis will continue this approach in an attempt to develop the typology (ies) of an entrepreneurship educator.

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