Arruti, A., & Paños-Castro, J. (2020). How do future primary education student teachers assess their entrepreneurship competences? An analysis of their self-perceptions. Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 23(1).
This article is focused on entrepreneurship competences. It analyses the self-perceptions of future primary education student teachers (teacherpreneurs) who participated in the ERASMUS+ project entitled Entrepreneurship in Initial Primary Teacher Education (EIPTE) under the Strategic Partnership programme from August 2017 to 2020. Students from 8 institutions from 6 different countries have taken part in this programme, namely the University of Deusto (Spain), University College Sjaelland (Denmark), The Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship (Denmark), Mid-Sweden University (Sweden), Technichus (Sweden), Leuphana University (Germany), Artesis Plantijn (Belgium) and Vilnius Kolegia (Lithuania). The methodology used was a quantitative study based on a questionnaire adapted from that employed within the EntreComp (Entrepreneurship Competence Framework). It was answered by 71 out of a total of 77 participants of the intensive programmes for learners carried out during the project. The goal was to analyse self-perceptions about the following entrepreneurship competences: self-efficacy, motivation and perseverance, risk-taking, planning, communication, taking the initiative, creativity, and ethical and sustainable thinking. The findings showed, among other things, that future primary education student teachers considered themselves good at planning, creativity and self-motivation, but less so at risk taking. Gender and the number of times that they had participated in the intensive programmes for learners made no difference to the results obtained. Entrepreneurial education should promote and boost risk taking and taking the initiative, whereas less emphasis should be made on competences such as planning, which seem to have been adequately acquired by future teachers.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore whether participating in an entrepreneurship education programme with short-term international placements can help pre-service teachers to identifying the characteristics of entrepreneurial competence from a wide definition of entrepreneurship (Lackeus, 2015) rather than from a business centred definition, to be developed by entrepreneur teachers.
Design/methodology/approach – A three-year longitudinal qualitative study was carried out. In-depth interviews were conducted using open-ended questions with 17 pre-service teachers from the University of Deusto (Spain). They were participating in a European project with short-term international placements at five different European higher education institutions.
Findings – There is no consensual definition of the term entrepreneurship, which varies depending on the context. Entrepreneurship could be considered to be both a mindset and a lifestyle. The characteristics of
entrepreneurs that were mentioned the most included: being creative, team players, open-minded, innovative, passionate, motivated, hard-working and risk-takers; being able to overcome challenges; having initiative; being proactive, organised and persevering; having leadership skills, communication skills, the ability to adapt; having a positive attitude and, being decision-makers. Short-term placements contribute to personal
development, improved foreign language competence, increased awareness and understanding of other cultures, and acquiring entrepreneurship competence.
Originality/value – Research on the characteristics of teacherpreneurs is still in its early stages. The vast majority of studies focus on entrepreneurs and teachers of entrepreneurship education programmes aimed at those who wish to start up new businesses. This study contributes to a better understanding of the term entrepreneurship, to identifying the current characteristics of teacherpreneurs, and to outline certain variables that could be considered during pre-service teachers training plans. It also proposes further research into in-service teacherpreneur education.
Keywords Higher education, Primary school teacher, Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Teacher training, Entrepreneurship education
Paper type Research paper