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Entrepreneurial education: reflexive approaches to entrepreneurial learning in/through practice

Higgins, David and Mirza, Mohammed (2012) Entrepreneurial education: reflexive approaches to entrepreneurial learning in/through practice. In: Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship ISBE Conference 2012, 7th-8th November 2012, Dublin, Ireland. (Unpublished)

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      Abstract

      Objectives - Even though entrepreneurial education is quite a new phenomenon in higher education, as a
      field of inquiry it is one of the most rapidly growing areas of research. However there is a wide spread
      consensus that traditional pedagogical methods of learning alone are insufficient to adequately develop
      entrepreneurs to deal with the complexities of running and creating innovating business opportunities. The
      paper seeks to contribute to a growing need to cultivate innovative ways of thinking, diverse skills and new
      modes of behaviour to fully enhance and develop entrepreneurial approaches to education. The paper sets
      out to address this problem by examining the role reflexivity can play in entrepreneurial education, as a
      method of critiquing what it means to practice as an entrepreneur.
      Prior Work – The paper argues that traditional approaches to entrepreneurial education tend to ignore, the
      ambiguities and uncertainties which surround the entrepreneurial process. The historical pre-occupation
      with an individualistic approach to entrepreneurial learning has continued to marginalise and de-value the
      broader social context in which the entrepreneur functions, (Goss, 2005). Current writing on
      entrepreneurial learning has shifted attention towards “learning for” as opposed to “learning about”
      entrepreneurship.
      Approach – The paper adopts a social constructionist perspective which draws recognition to the
      importance of inter-subjective knowledge exchange as a means of developing entrepreneurial learning.
      While there are numerous approaches to a social constructionist paradigm, the critical features of the
      perspective provide the manner by which “we” come to experience the social world. The approach
      suggests the development of a pedagogical approach which explores the social processes that constitute
      entrepreneurial undertakings and thus shift the focus away from the traditional positivist approaches to
      entrepreneurial learning.
      Implications – The paper invites the reader to consider a more reflexive practice-oriented educational
      agenda which involves challenging the “self-conceptions” of what does it mean to be an “entrepreneur”,
      inviting openness to alternative meanings. This reflexive position represents a movement away from the
      pre-conceptualisations of rationality, to a method that embraces introspection of critical reflection as a
      means of creating learning practices that enable and facilitate the exploration of alternative perspectives.
      Value –The paper presents a conceptual argument on the most appropriate and naturalistic way to educate
      entrepreneurs, by viewing learning as a practice, supported and enabled through reflexive critique of the
      entrepreneurs practices. There is a wide spread consensus that traditional pedagogical “instructional
      methods” alone are insufficient to adequately develop entrepreneurs to deal with the complexities of
      running and creating business opportunities. As a consequence there is a growing need to cultivate
      innovative ways of thinking and new

      Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
      Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
      L Education > L Education (General)
      Schools: The Business School
      Related URLs:
      Depositing User: Sara Taylor
      Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2012 12:11
      Last Modified: 14 Feb 2013 11:47
      URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/14680

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