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Företagsamma elever: Diskurser kring entreprenörskap och företagsamhet i skolan
Umeå University, Faculty of Teacher Education, Department of Teacher Education in Swedish and Social Sciences.
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to study and problematize the concepts of entrepreneurship and enterprise in Swed-ish compulsory schools. The studies presented in this thesis focus both on scientific publications and official documents that deal with entrepreneurship and enterprise in compulsory schools and on school projects that have been carried out in years 4 to 6 in the county of Västerbotten. The main questions of the study are:

• How did the discourse on entrepreneurship and enterprise in school arise?

• What do concepts of entrepreneurship and enterprise mean in Swedish nine-year compulsory schools?

• How is discursive practice concerning Entrepreneurship and Enterprise in schools expressed?

Michel Foucault’s theories of discourse, power and discipline have been used as analytical tools, together with gender theories. Characteristic for the research on entrepreneurship is that it is multidisciplinary. There are difficulties, both nationally and internationally, to explicitly define the concept of ”entrepreneur”. The entrepreneur is described as an individual with abilities to take action, initiative and risks but also as being creative, innovative and cooperative. These are characteristics that both society and school can make use of. Unemployment among young people and changing needs in society are reasons why the concept “enter-prise” is present on most of the agendas of the OECD countries today. Society requires individuals who can take responsibility and initiative and who are creative. Training in and about entrepreneurship has devel-oped and therefore it has been possible to stress its relevance for the entire educational system. Training for entrepreneurship is directed towards economics, i e a discourse about enterprise while training about entre-preneurship turns against training in general by relating to up-bringing and human inner qualities. A dis-course in enterprise has been formed, whose aim is to develop pupils into responsible, creative, active, cooperative and enterprising members of society. This is where a new discourse is created and it is a dis-course in enterprise and schools. Even so, the road into school is via economics because the main aim of entrepreneurship is economic growth and increased employment rate. Throughout the different texts about entrepreneurship and enterprise in school there is a tendency to use dichotomies. In this case it concerns what is the right or the wrong way of teaching. Enterprise teaching, as it is used in entrepreneurship and enterprise in schools, is considered the right and true way of teaching, while the practice in schools is de-scribed as the opposite. A struggle between two discourses appears; the struggle between the entrepreneurial school discourse and the official school discourse, the latter with its origin in the national curriculum from 1994, Lpo 94. At the end of the 1990s a number of school projects were initiated, both nationally and inter-nationally, aiming at stimulating pupils’ enterprising skills. In the county of Västerbotten school projects were initiated under the overarching project PRIO1, Priority Enterprise County of Västerbotten and in-cluded students of all ages. The schools could choose either an entrepreneurial or an enterprising approach to their projects. The enterprise approach was more invisible, less concrete and more difficult to evaluate and measure. The work with entrepreneurship and enterprise in school in the investigated schools show that well-established and current discourses in the schools were transferred to the ”new” discourse. Instead of transferring the “new aspects” that the project was expected to contribute to the current discourse, the ”old” and already well-known aspects were transferred to the new discourse. Consequently, the projects themselves did not result in a comprehensive change of the discourse in practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Svenska och samhällsvetenskapliga ämnen , 2006. , 256 p.
Doktorsavhandlingar i pedagogiskt arbete, ISSN 1650-8858 ; 8
Keyword [en]
Entrepreneurship, enterprise, discourse, education, project, compulsory school
National Category
Pedagogical Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-772ISBN: 91-7264-041-3OAI: diva2:144475
Institutionen för svenska och samhällsvetenskapliga ämnen, 90187, Umeå
Public defence
2006-05-19, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2006-04-24 Created: 2006-04-24 Last updated: 2011-02-03Bibliographically approved

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