Chapter 2: Learning and Teaching Entrepreneurship: Dilemmas, Reflections and Strategies
Per Blenker, Poul Dreisler, Helle M. Færgeman and John Kjeldsen1 Introduction and background assumptions Over the past few decades, there has been some discussion about whether or not – and, if positive, to what extent – certain people are born as entrepreneurs. Thus, from birth entrepreneurs seem to have competencies and skills that cannot be taught. We shall not enter this discussion, but rely on the general assumption that at least some personal characteristics, competencies and skills can be nurtured and trained in the entrepreneur’s interplay with the environment, including the interplay with the educational system. Our basic assumption is thus that entrepreneurship or enterprising behaviour can be learned and that, as such, it should be taught. Entrepreneurship education, however, requires thorough reflection on the connection between action and theory and between learning and doing. This is primarily because of the multifaceted nature of the entrepreneurial phenomenon, which makes it difficult to encompass and thus to teach and learn. Based on this assumption we further assume that the public sector, including the educational system and the universities, should reflect how it could contribute to the stimulation of an enterprising mindset among students. The number of academic institutions teaching entrepreneurship seems to be increasing (Jack and Anderson, 1999; Katz, 2003). One problem is that traditional forms of teaching at universities and business schools have shown themselves quite inappropriate with respect to enhancement of motivation and competencies among students towards innovation and entrepreneurship. This phenomenon is dealt with increasingly in the literature (Gibb,...
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