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Entrepreneurial Learning in Education: Preschool as a Take-Off for the Entrepreneurial Self
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0164-5914
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics. (Barn och unga i skola och samhälle, BUSS)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9475-2497
2015 (English)In: Journal of Education and Training, ISSN 2330-9709, Vol. 2, no 2, 40-58 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recently the phenomenon of entrepreneurship by political aspirations has entered the school setting. This is a world-wide development affecting education in practice and theory. In 2009 the Swedish Government launched a strategy stating that entrepreneurship should run like a common thread through the educational system. Since childhood is considered the ideal stage to influence attitudes towards entrepreneurship, and preschool constitutes the beginning of this publicly imposed “red thread”, this setting is of particular interest. In school practice the concept of entrepreneurship is translated into entrepreneurial learning. In this study we seek to investigate what characterises entrepreneurial learning in a preschool context according to preschool teachers by conducting both critical incident questionnaires and an in-depth interview using stimulated recall method. The empirical results suggest that entrepreneurial learning has developed the preschool teachers’ educational discussions and has affected the children’s entrepreneurial skills. Further, when analysing the material as to what supports and hinders a positive entrepreneurial learning situation, four main themes emerged: ongoing reflection, active participation, a meaningful learning situation and a tolerant atmosphere.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 2, no 2, 40-58 p.
National Category
Educational Sciences Social Sciences Economics and Business
Research subject
Didactics; Innovation and Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-29138DOI: 10.5296/jet.v2i2.7350OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-29138DiVA: diva2:856913
Available from: 2015-09-25 Created: 2015-09-25 Last updated: 2017-05-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Entrepreneurship in a School Setting: Introducing a Business Concept in a Public Context
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Entrepreneurship in a School Setting: Introducing a Business Concept in a Public Context
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Entrepreneurship has during the last decades gained an immense interest in academia, politics and practice. It is argued from politics that more entrepreneurs are necessary for the economic development. In addition, nowadays entrepreneurship is also perceived as a solution to social and societal challenges. This drives a need for entrepreneurial people everywhere in society who can cope with the inconstant and uncertain world of today. As a consequence, there are around the world numerous educational initiatives trying to inspire and fuel an entrepreneurial mind-set. Here, educations of all kind become relevant contexts since they provide an opportunity to affect children, youth’s and adult’s interest and attitudes towards entrepreneurship, and as such give a possibility to reach a vast number of people.

Sweden is no exception, and in 2009 the Swedish Government launched a ‘Strategy for entrepreneurship in the field of education’ in which entrepreneurship is said to run like a common thread throughout education. The main focus is that self-employment is to become as natural as being an employee. As such the Government took an active stand for implementing entrepreneurship in the school setting on a broad front, from preschool to adult education.

This development can be seen as part of New Public Management; a development where concepts from the private sector are lent and transferred to the public sector. Thus, when introducing entrepreneurship in the Swedish educational system, this at the same time means introducing a traditional business concept in a public setting. Therefore, the overall aim of this thesis is to increase knowledge of and insights on how a business concept – entrepreneurship – is operationalised and constructed in a public setting.

When placing entrepreneurship in new societal contexts other questions arise and complexity intensifies. In this qualitative research, the empirical context in focus are schools. It investigates how entrepreneurship is constructed among teachers in their work. But also how this business concept is included in a non-business setting by studying how the entrepreneurship strategy is operationalised in educational practice.

As such the thesis and its findings contribute to the scientific discussions on societal entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education, as well as on strategy and strategising in a public context. The research also aspire to serve inspiration, insights and food for thoughts on discussions and reflections on entrepreneurship within the school practice. 

This compilation thesis include five papers. To be able to fulfil the aim this research use a broad theoretical base and multiple qualitative research methods. The combination of methods include semi-structured interviews, in-depth interview using the stimulated recall method, focus group interviews, participative meetings, observations, document studies, digital questionnaires, written inquiries, analysing texts and critical incidents questionnaires.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eskilstuna: Mälardalen University, 2017
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 227
National Category
Social Sciences Economics and Business
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-35234 (URN)978-91-7485-325-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-06-08, Filen, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-04-26 Created: 2017-04-24 Last updated: 2017-07-10Bibliographically approved

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