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  • To reflect on the design thinking methodology and about the use of that approach.
  • To analyze an example of how to redesign a course based on the design thinking approach.
  • To think upon the benefits of teaching and learning entrepreneurship through design thinking


Just reading the paper could take between 30 min and 1 hour.

This paper could be worked autonomously. The learner could read it and focused on different questions proposed by the lecturer to be answered by them before or after having worked in class the methodology known as design thinking.

There is not a fixed time as it depends on the number of questions proposed.



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Background: Entrepreneurship has traditionally been taught from a business administration perspective, where predicting the future is central and where the world is seen as linear with known inputs and outputs. The world of entrepreneurs is a quite different, usually highly uncertain environment, and therefore requires a different type of skill set. In this paper, we conceptualize entrepreneurial learning through a method- and design-based approach and illustrate how a course can be developed and designed.

Findings: In this paper it is argued that by utilizing design thinking and a methods approach, learning from a “through” approach can be achieved. This learning is more focused on the entrepreneurial process, highlighting the role of skills and mindset. This learning approach enables student-centered learning and focus on skills more applicable to entrepreneurs. It is also argued that the entrepreneurship process is not linear; therefore, creativity is central and finding structure is an unstructured process. Design thinking emphasizes a practical approach where students step outside the classroom. This experimentation and interaction in the real world of users and customers with real feedback is important in combination with reflection exercises.

Conclusions: This paper highlights how a methods approach and entrepreneurship education with a “through” perspective can be achieved by utilizing design thinking. This is elaborated conceptually and illustrated with an example. We argue that a methods approach for teaching entrepreneurship is beneficial, where design thinking can be one valuable tool and approach for teaching entrepreneurship.



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About Arantza Arruti

Senior lecturer and Professor in Didactics and Curriculum Development Department, BA in Pedagogy. Expert Diploma in Leisure Education. PhD in Pedagogy (University of Deusto). Researcher at: EIPTE (Entrepreneurship in Initial Primary Teacher Education) ERASMUS + Project (2017-2020) and Accelerating the path to the Entrepreneurial University (Department of Education - Basque Government); (2015-2017). Member of the Education Innovation Unit at the University of Deusto. My blog about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship: Member of MET Community Bilbao (2014-2018) and Emakumeekin (2013-2018), non-profit organization that promote and support entrepreneurship among women through training, mentorship, and networking. Coordinator of Ingenio and Ekin-IT, innovative Entrepreneurial Programs for university students (Funded by Regional Council of Biscay and Deusto Foundation (2007-2012) International Relations Coordinator of the Faculty of Psychology and Education (2010-2017).