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Edited by G. Page West III, Elizabeth J. Gatewood and Kelly G. Shaver
Chapter 4: The Microfoundations of Entrepreneurial Learning and … Education: The Experiential Essence of Entrepreneurial Cognition
4 The microfoundations of entrepreneurial learning and . . . education: the experiential essence of entrepreneurial cognition Norris F. Krueger, Jr Experience is not what happens to you, experience is what you do with what happens to you. Epictetus Introduction Knowing a lot about entrepreneurship is hardly sufficient to make one a successful entrepreneur, ‘knowing a lot’ can even be dangerous. Knowledge is not just an accumulation of data; knowledge requires both the information content and the structure by which we organize it. All too often in our haste to transfer large amounts of important content to students, we lose sight that the knowledge structures are even more important and our ability to influence how students’ mental models evolve is the essence of education. Perhaps nowhere is this as visible as in entrepreneurship education, where we must go beyond teaching facts and teach students how to think like an entrepreneur, to help them toward a more expert entrepreneurial mindset. One way to do that is to situate entrepreneurship education in settings where mental models are not shared, where there is cognitive diversity, that is, a significant diversity of knowledge structures. The success of cross-campus entrepreneurship programs may derive in large part from the inherent cognitive diversity of its students and teachers. As entrepreneurship educators, we are not training memories, we are training minds. Education changes students; entrepreneurial education is no different. Here, more than anywhere, we can assess that change and we can use that assessment to nurture our students’ education. Many of...
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