It has for long been argued that entrepreneurship demands a different pedagogical approach, which is action-oriented and experiential. However, learning through and from experience is not only to engage in action – as the fundaments for grasping actions taken has been positioned as a triangulation between the experiences gained, the conceptual knowledge that could explain the action, and reflective thinking. This in turn creates a bridge between theory and practice to develop knowledge and insights for future learning. This chapter adopts a mixed-method approach based on a dominant and simultaneous design, where the qualitative data in the form of reflective diaries are dominant, but complimented by a pre-, mid- and post-survey on reflective thinking. The study provides evidence of the importance to develop abilities of reflective thinking for developing entrepreneurial knowing when adopting an experience-based pedagogy. The study acknowledge a pattern for developing reflective thinking, based on developing conceptual understanding early in the learning process, which is then used to develop skills from the entrepreneurial experiences gained. Through development of reflective thinking the students develop self-awareness and are able to apply and adopt theoretical insights to actions taken, and as a result increase their abilities to take intelligent actions in future uncertain situations.
Gustav Hägg and Diamanto Politis
In this study we examine how formal mentorship facilitates learning for students engaged in experiential entrepreneurship education. Based on a diary-interview method we build a process model that depicts how formal mentorship relations are initiated and developed over time. Our analysis identifies critical conditions for generating a prosperous learning environment in this relation. The findings provide explanations for why certain mentorship relations are associated with different forms of learning outcomes depending on how the relations mature over time. The study shows that psychosocial support is important in the early stage, where openness, commitment and motivation create mutual trust within the mentoring dyad. In all, the study provides ample evidence in support of mentorship programs as a viable pedagogical method in experiential entrepreneurship education.
Jonas Gabrielsson, Hans Landström, Diamanto Politis and Gustav Hägg
The growth of entrepreneurship education has played an important role in building up an academic infrastructure for entrepreneurship research. In this chapter we identify exemplary European contributions to entrepreneurship education research and practice. We discuss the evolution of entrepreneurship education as a scholarly field in Europe with particular emphasis on its social infrastructure and cognitive development. Thereafter we use a systematic literature review to identify important contributions made by European-based scholars to entrepreneurship education research published in peer-reviewed academic journals. Based on the review we identify top research journals with the most published articles on entrepreneurship education, the most cited articles, and the most influential scholars. We end the chapter with a description of the European Entrepreneurship Education Award (EEEA) together with summary analyses of the work of the six Award Laureates.