Understanding the entrepreneurial learning process and its impact on students’ personal development: a European perspective.
Anderson, Alistair R.
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MUELLER, S. and ANDERSON, A. R., 2014. Understanding the entrepreneurial learning process and its impact on students’ personal development: a European perspective. International Journal of Management Education, 12 (3), pp. 500-511.
Based on what we know about the multiplex nature of entrepreneurship, we argue that entrepreneurship is a difficult topic to teach. One response has been a shift to constructionist perspectives where learning is seen as an active process of constructing rather than merely acquiring knowledge. We wonder how is it possible for students, lacking much professional experience, to 'construct’ useful entrepreneurial knowledge? We address this question by analysing the learning experiences of 54 students and 19 lecturers in different European Entrepreneurship education programs. The study explores the nature and processes of entrepreneurial learning in the university context. It provides understanding of how learners – across cultures and educational backgrounds – engage in the learning process. We identify three personal qualities, which constitute this process: a multi-dimensional sense of responsibility, independent ways of thinking, and the ability to connect to ones own and other peoples’ needs. We identified the particular dynamics in which these qualities interact and develop and conclude with suggestions on how education may stimulate this process.