An experiential approach to teaching entrepreneurship in high and vocational schools raises new challenges for teachers. An experiential approach encourages links between curriculums in different learning areas. But teamwork among teachers is not an everyday practice and some teachers struggle with a lack of the structure in teaching how to solve open problems.
Some of these challenges are present only at the beginning and they evaporate as teacher go through a few entrepreneurship courses. The feeling of a lack of the structure is such a challenge. Teachers start to trust in the process after several projects when they see the inspiring results in the end and when they observe their highly motivated students during the whole entrepreneurial project. Trust in the process emerges with teachers’ experience. Some other challenges need a systematic approach where a team of teacher cooperate with the headmaster’s support. Links between curriculums in different learning areas is an example of such a challenge.
Imagine you would like to lead with your students an entrepreneurial project about establishing an eco-market. A good experiential approach to this entrepreneurial challenge encompasses the links among different learning areas, for instance languages for terminology and communication skills, math for price setting and financial planning, sociology for facilitating a stimulating eco-climate at the market and for learning about different eco-markets in other parts of the world. But you also need biology for growing vegetables, chemistry for learning about the chemical processes connected with growing, storing and transporting the vegetables, technical and art learning areas for learning how to build a technological feasible market with a pleasant aesthetic appearance etc. Such an approach is a valuable and memorable experience for students. On the other hand such a project cannot happen without strong teamwork on the teachers’ side.
Based on my experience teachers usually start with small entrepreneurial projects, which they are able to lead on their own. Eventually other peer teachers become interested in organizing a broader entrepreneurial project. Small steps lead to a long and inspiring journey of establishing an entrepreneurial school climate, where teachers cooperate in order to develop entrepreneurial skills.
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