Methods, Teachers and Innovative Programmes
Edited by Alain Fayolle, Dafna Kariv and Harry Matlay
Chapter 7: Developing entrepreneurship education in Europe: teachers’ commitment to entrepreneurship education in the UK, Finland and Spain
Entrepreneurship education is increasingly promoted in the European Union, and European countries are fast developing their policies for entrepreneurship education. It seems however that schools and teachers have difficulties in implementing entrepreneurship education in their work. This chapter concerns teachers’ ability to commit to entrepreneurship education, especially to its aims, implementation and outcomes. The study applies a qualitative methodology, analysing responses from 61 teachers from the UK, Spain and Finland. The results of the study suggest that teacher commitment to entrepreneurship education is obstructed in many ways. Overall, it seems that teachers have difficulties in explicating their aims for entrepreneurship education. As such, the phenomenon seems distant and teachers’ personal attachment to it may remain low. We suggest that the measures to support policy-level objectives are not targeted correctly or cannot reach the schools and teachers that need them. We conclude that the development of expectations for entrepreneurship education has been faster than the development of teacher commitment. This is an important result as the introduction of more sophisticated and complex approaches to entrepreneurship education requires skilful and committed teachers as facilitators. Our results suggest that teacher training on entrepreneurship education should be developed further. In essence, the teachers’ knowledge of entrepreneurship education, reflection upon it, and, finally, commitment to it can be assisted through training programmes. The chapter contributes to entrepreneurship education research in three ways. First, we identify teachers’ routes to commitment in entrepreneurship education as well as the problems and hindrances obstructing it. Second, with the analysis of teachers from three different countries (the UK, Spain and Finland), we identify the types of variation in commitment and the reasons for the variance. Finally, the analysis shows how teachers’ commitment to entrepreneurship education is built in Europe.
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