Over the past decade, the need to ‘mobilise the brainpower’ and entrepreneurship education into school programs as early as possible has become a ground for a lively discussion in Europe. To recognize and empower the European entrepreneurial talent from the early age, we primarily need teachers who, apart from knowing their subject enclave inside out, can instill the idea of entrepreneurism into the classroom routine. For current and future teachers, developing entrepreneurial mindset and gaining deeper understanding of the basic tenets of entrepreneurship stretches beyond the ability to transmit this specific knowledge to their students. This training can have a favorable impact on their entire life.
Making a difference
Who are the people who choose teaching as their profession for life? The ones who want to create an impact in this world via helping younger generations discover their numerous talents and make the best out of them. When embedding entrepreneurial elements into school programs, no doubt, that the main lever to do so is by hiring a suitable teacher. The one who has nuanced understanding of what entrepreneurship is, who can maintain kids’ natural curiosity and foster their ability to face and solve problems.
The current state of affairs was aptly framed by Pasi Sahlberg, a well-known Finnish educator, who stated that ‘we still educate children with the mindset that there is a job for you; another option is to think ‘create a job for yourself’.’ In this light, future teachers are expected to infuse kids with solid awareness that future is uncertain, risks are something to live with, and failure is not a life sentence. It will rest in teacher’s hands to develop kids’ drive to innovate and think outside the box. To do so, they should be ‘live’ representations of what they actually convey in their classrooms.
Raising the level of employability
Training future teachers to think and act entrepreneurially does not only entail the transaction benefits gained from sharing knowledge with students, but also acquiring important transversal skills, e.g. exercising initiative, creative thinking, decision-making, spotting and implementing opportunities, etc. These skills are highly sought-after by employers in different areas these days, and can be of good use in our rapidly changing world. What is more, entrepreneurial philosophy, once properly understood and grasped, set one on the pathway of lifelong learning to constantly check their professional flair and hone relevant skills.
Nurturing personal growth
An important reason why cultivating entrepreneurial mindset among future teachers is beneficial for them personally refers to the acquisition and full understanding of their inner core. They need to gain the sense of confidence in their own capabilities even when turbulent times are on the doorstep. Since stability is believed to be relative, the new generation of teachers will have to have an ability to generate unconventional solutions both in their teaching practices and beyond. Having put constant vigilance on the autopilot mode will make them seize opportunities even in the most inopportune times.
All in all, introducing entrepreneurship education in teacher training programs will enable to grow a generation of doers, makers and creative thinkers who can maneuver in the unstable and fragile environment. Creating innovative classroom environment where their students can feel safe to experiment in a try-fail-persist mode, the teachers will expand their socio-economic contribution to their nations and worldwide and raise economically self-reliant and socially responsible citizens.
Written by: Alina Meloyan, UIIN
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