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Teachers' and learners' experiences of entrepreneurial education: practice and challenges in relation to visible and invisible pedagogy
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2016 (English)In: Problems of Education in the 21st Century, ISSN 1822-7864, Vol. 73, no 73, 27-44 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Entrepreneurial education is described as gaining abilities that enable the future workforce to develop, be part of and adapt to the changing society. International policy texts, from for instance the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Commission, agree that entrepreneurial abilities are to be taught and learned in school. Even if this has been on the agenda for decades, it wasn't inscribed in the Swedish curricula until 2011. This research focuses on lower secondary schools and what is called the broad approach or entrepreneurial education. To foster entrepreneurially, different progressive theories of instruction are often suggested. Basil Bernstein has outlined two generic forms of instructional theories: visible and invisible pedagogy; visible pedagogy can be described as "traditional", while invisible pedagogy requires progressive teaching and learning. Based on classroom observations, interviews with teachers and learners, this study elaborates on these concepts in relation to experiences of entrepreneurial education. Different challenges, due to contradictory messages in curricula, learners' backgrounds and experiences, as well as teachers' approaches, are revealed. The study suggests that, even though more or less ambitious attempts are being made, "pure" entrepreneurial education is difficult to enable in a practice where visible pedagogy is the standard educational practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 73, no 73, 27-44 p.
Keyword [en]
entrepreneurial education, lower secondary school, teachers' and learners' experiences, parental background, visible and invisible pedagogy
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-128027OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-128027DiVA: diva2:1048876
Available from: 2016-11-22 Created: 2016-11-22 Last updated: 2017-03-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. -Måste det här vara som en väckelserörelse?: en studie om (det som kallas) entreprenöriellt lärande i grundskolan, utifrån Basil Bernsteins begreppsapparat
Open this publication in new window or tab >>-Måste det här vara som en väckelserörelse?: en studie om (det som kallas) entreprenöriellt lärande i grundskolan, utifrån Basil Bernsteins begreppsapparat
2017 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
-Does this have to be like a revival movement? : a study on (what is called) entrepreneurial learning in compulsory school based on the conceptual framework of Basil Bernstein
Abstract [en]

The aim of this compilation thesis is to describe prerequisites for what, in a Swedish educational context, is often called ‘entrepreneurial learning’ and to examine the possible influence that this has on school practice. The study was carried out in two lower secondary schools and was guided by the following two research questions. First, how is entrepreneurial learning reflected in educational practice regarding teaching, learning and assessment? Second, how has the phenomenon of entrepreneurship been recontextualized in educational discourse through politics and policy? Basil Bernstein’s concepts and theories have consistently been the point of departure for analysis. Altogether, 52 classroom observations were made, particularly focusing on the subjects of social science, science and mathematics. In addition, 8 individual interviews with teachers and 15 group interviews with pupils were conducted. For decades, national and international policy documents have promoted the need for a creative, innovative and flexible future working force; bringing this about has highly involved the education system. In Sweden, entrepreneurship was inscribed in the curriculum in 2011, and it is meant to run like a thread throughout education. In this study the broad approach of entrepreneurship in education, which is about generating an entrepreneurial mindset, is focused. Research points out various difficulties and dilemmas regarding the implementation of entrepreneurial learning. These difficulties and dilemmas are connected to concerns about perceived difficulties in relation to differences in school subjects, pupils’ backgrounds, degree of managerial support and/or collegial consensus and cooperation. The main findings are linked to recurrent difficulties regarding teaching methods and assessments in relation to entrepreneurial learning. Curricula and syllabi express explicit learning outcomes, which both teachers and learners perceive as being challenging to combine with entrepreneurial classroom work. This in turn links to an aspect which is often addressed in research—that is, the question about whether to use traditional or entrepreneurial (progressive) teaching methods. Curricula express a need for both, and teachers often find it difficult to find a functioning balance between them, not least because of current societal discussions and demands. In many respects, the implementation of entrepreneurial learning sends mixed messages. On the one hand, pupils are meant to develop entrepreneurial skills and competencies through cooperation and interaction within groups, and, on the other hand, the essence of entrepreneurship indicates competition; this is yet another dilemma addressed in the study. The study shows that, due to the schools’ different prerequisites regarding, for instance, teachers’ approaches and understandings and the schools’ catchment areas, entrepreneurial learning is performed somewhat different. Bernstein’s concepts and theories offer tools to explain and understand different aspects, including dilemmas and difficulties in relation to both classroom practice and social discourse.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2017. 112 p.
Series
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 0281-6768 ; 123
Series
Umeå Studies in the Educational Sciences, 22
Keyword
Entrepreneurial learning, lower secondary school, recontextualisation, Basil Bernstein, education, teaching, learning, assessment, classification, framing, Entreprenöriellt lärande, grundskolan, rekontextualisering, Basil Bernstein, utbildning, undervisning, lärande, bedömning, klassifikation, inramning
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-133037 (URN)978-91-7601-694-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-04-28, Nbvh 1031, Norra beteendevetarhuset, Umeå, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Ifocus - innovation, forskning och utveckling i skola och förskola, 218010400
Available from: 2017-04-06 Created: 2017-03-29 Last updated: 2017-04-21Bibliographically approved

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