Disclosure: EntreCompEdu is a European Union-wide projects, with its coordinator residing in Wales, United Kingdom.
History of the initiative
The EntreCompEdu project is facilitated by a consortium of non-profit associations, schools networks, higher education institutions, businesses and an EU business network. Partners in the consortium include the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Bantani Education, Go Antwerpen, Innogate to Europe, LUT University, MateraHub, Me Analytics, NCDIEL, and European Business Summit. A partnership with the University of Valparaiso in Chile has seen the programme already expanded to more countries across South America and the Caribbean. EntreCompEdu is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. The project was developed as a complement to the European Commission’s Entrepreneurship Competence Framework, EntreComp.
EntreCompEdu aims to support teachers to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to develop the EntreComp competences through their own teaching. The project targets practicing teachers in its aim to “inform and transform teaching in the field of entrepreneurial education.” The consortium saw the need to reduce the discrepancies between the skills that education systems were delivering in schools and the requirements of society. Furthermore, certain important skills, such as those obtained through entrepreneurial learning are oftentimes considered less important than other subjects, despite fostering engagement, citizenship, social cohesion and employability.
To support teachers in their endeavours, EntreCompEdu provides a collection of training modules. Through its educational offerings, EntreCompEdu aspires to offer all primary and secondary school teachers, as well as vocational teachers, a valuable resource for fostering an entrepreneurial mindset. EntreCompEdu aims to empower teachers to use their skills in new ways and take advantage of their strengths to improve the school curriculum to the benefit of students. The consortium looks to influence policy and practice with regards to the professionalisation of teachers and school management and develop the capacity of teachers to deliver entrepreneurial competences through their teaching. EntreCompEdu was created based around six broad areas of competence, with reference to best pedagogical practices both in general and in entrepreneurship:
• Professional knowledge and understanding of entrepreneurial education.
• Planning and organising entrepreneurial education.
• Teaching and training for entrepreneurial education.
• Assessment for entrepreneurial education.
• Professional learning and development.
Activities and learning outcomes
EntreCompEdu’s training modules include practical ideas and suggestions for teachers. The modules are free to be accessed online, so that teachers can have accessible resources to develop their entrepreneurial education skills. The modules are currently available in English, Spanish, Macedonian, Welsh, Italian, Dutch and Finnish. Teachers will learn through practical teaching activities in real-life situations, creating an empowering learning environment, and encouraging self-awareness. The course is tailored to each participating teacher, as the self-assessment tool determines the teacher’s current entrepreneurship teaching skills and identifies areas for improvement. At the end of the course participating teachers are awarded a certificate and a digital badge which recognises them as an EntreCompEdu Teacher Pioneer.
The six pedagogical principles underpin the EntreCompEdu programme and guide teachers in their practice and encouraging learners to:
1. Think creatively through asking questions, being adaptable to different ideas and solutions and using observational techniques, such as “slow looking”, which can help learners spot opportunities.
2. Look to the real-world for inspiration through seeking out opportunities to add value and to develop and apply entrepreneurial competences. When learners explore authentic problems, they are likely to work harder and engage in deeper thinking.
3. Promote collaboration with a clear purpose both in and beyond the classroom.
4. Create something of value for others, where the value does not have to be financial.
5. Stimulate ongoing reflection about success and lack thereof, as well as flexible thinking and learning from experience. Teachers can also model reflection by thinking aloud and being open about their own learning experiences.
6. Make entrepreneurial learning visible through developing clear learning goals, but also being open to the unexpected.
Further outputs of EntreCompEdu include the Professional Skills Framework which details how teachers can make their teaching more entrepreneurial and innovative. The framework touches on teachers’ professional knowledge and understanding of entrepreneurial education, planning, teaching and training, assessment and professional learning. This framework underpins the design of the training modules.