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Recognition and assessment of entrepreneurship skills within educational, industrial and cultural sector – Outlines for a comparative case study
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4091-0856
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation. (IPR (Innovation and Product Realisation))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6229-2673
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
2013 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Entrepreneurship and innovation has gained an increased focus in Sweden, as well as in the rest of the European Union, during the last decades. Entrepreneurship is listed as one of eight key competences for lifelong learning (EU-Parliament, 2006) and in 2012 the Swedish government released “the Swedish Innovation Strategy” as a key strategy for Sweden to remain a strong economy (Government Offices of Sweden, 2012). An important part of this strategy entrepreneurial learning and entrepreneurship have been included in the Swedish national school curriculum (Skolverket, 2011), making it mandatory for all Swedish elementary and secondary schools to prepare the young for their future as an entrepreneurial work force. The language of entrepreneurial learning is adopted from the industrial sector where skills such as, for example creativity are emphasized, in order to make it possible to bring new ideas and products out on expanding and globalized markets. Entrepreneurship has also been introduced to the cultural sector in Sweden, through a governmental initiative in 2009. The term has emphasized the need of museums to become economically self-sufficient without loosing their traditional role. Cultural entrepreneurship is, just as theoretical ideas about learning, nowadays central to many museums. The current development give rise to questions of how meaning is attributed to entrepreneurship, as it is introduced in new and dispersed institutional contexts.

The aim of this paper is to present and discuss a forthcoming comparative case study on how entrepreneurship is enacted in three different sectors; educational, industrial and cultural sectors. The study investigates how knowledge and competence associated with entrepreneurship is recognized by the participants and how this approach contributes to the design of learning environments. By doing cross-sectorial comparisons the objective of the study is to provide perspectives on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial learning in school.

The following sets of research questions have been established to meet the objectives of the study:

How do the representatives from different sectors define entrepreneurship? How is it defined in local policy documents?

How do different sectors design for entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial learning?

What is recognized as entrepreneurial knowledge and skills?

How does, what is recognized as entrepreneurship in the school context, change the very understanding of education?

Institution-theory is used as a theoretical perspective to examine how entrepreneurship is being recognized and evaluated in different learning settings. What counts as meaningful and what is recognized as valuable knowledge is always dependent on the social framing.  Institutions, such as schools, workplaces and museums, are guided by rules, routines and conventions which regulate the agency of the participants. The institutional frame implies that certain actions and ways of regarding knowledge become normative. The notion of institution entails the idea that individuals are part of a collective set of regulations that has been shaped over time (Douglas, 1986, Berger & Luckman 1966/1991, Searl 1995). What has been selected and considered relevant and valuable knowledge in a certain context, is depending on the cultures of recognition that has been established (Selander & Kress, 2010).

 

The project is designed as a comparative case study with an ethnographic oriented approach. A total of three cases are selected, one from each sector. Data will be derived from document studies, observations and interviews with participants from the different contexts, and used as a basis for comparison. There will be a strategic selection of participating contexts, in the sense that our aim is to study settings that are considered to be in the fore front when it comes to realizing a vision of entrepreneurship. Part A, Educational, will be conducted in a compulsory school, Part B, Industrial, will be conducted in an organization with proven experience of developing entrepreneurial skills. Part C, Cultural, will be conducted in a museum that has a clear focus on entrepreneurship and is driven primarily by commercial objectives.

A review of earlier research has shown that the notion of entrepreneurship, as used in education, appear to be insufficiently theorized. The study will contribute to didactic research by examining how meaning is attributed to a specific knowledge area (entrepreneurship) and how different assessment practices are shaped and articulated in different settings. Earlier research has primarily been conducted within each sector while this study takes a wider, institutional perspective. An expected outcome of the project is that it will provide a critical perspective on entrepreneurial learning as a concept. We will in addition to this also be able to discuss what impact entrepreneurial ideas have for the very understanding of what education in schools is.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Istanbul, Turkey, 2013.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-23304OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-23304DiVA: diva2:679366
Conference
The European Conference on Educational Research, Istanbul, 9–13 September 2013
Available from: 2013-12-15 Created: 2013-12-10 Last updated: 2015-11-13Bibliographically approved

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