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Chapter 9: Teaching Entrepreneurship Through Science-Oriented Teams and Projects: Three Case Studies
9 Teaching entrepreneurship through scienceoriented teams and projects: three case studies Jed C. Macosko, A. Daniel Johnson and Sarah M. Yocum Introduction Teaching students to be entrepreneurs poses a challenge from a pedagogical perspective. For students to become entrepreneurs, they must learn how to identify and pursue opportunities that create change and result in sustainable value for society. Part of this process involves students learning factual content knowledge about how to launch a new enterprise; however, students’ ability to apply their knowledge will largely determine whether they are successful, especially during a venture’s earliest phases. So how do we best assist students in developing these applied thinking and problem-solving skills? Numerous studies have shown that students gain such skills more quickly when their instructor creates an ‘active learning’ environment that focuses specifically on developing these abilities (Halonen et al. 2002, p. 284). In this chapter, we briefly describe the pedagogical underpinnings of active learning, list five teaching strategies that promote active learning, and provide case studies of team- and project-based classes that used science-rich problems to move students out of their comfort zones and into active acquisition of entrepreneurial skills. We believe that active learning – particularly when stimulated by science-oriented projects – allows students to develop thinking skills most essential to early-stage entrepreneurship. Moreover, we have observed that students who learn these early-stage entrepreneurial skills are more likely to pursue the later stages of the entrepreneurial process (refining the venture, performing a financial analysis, developing marketing and operational plans and so...
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