en*tre*pre*neur noun: one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise
"How do you constantly look around you, all the time, for new ways, and new resources, to learn new things?" - John Seely Brown
Heutagogy is the study and application of self-determined learning. Rather than merely improving or reframing education, Jon Andrews explains that an entrepreneurial mindset is necessary to transform education "into a complete experience and preparation for the world today, as well as, for an uncertain future." (1)
World renowned scholar, Yong Zhao, states, "Traditional schooling aims to prepare employees rather than creative entrepreneurs. As a result, the more successful traditional schooling is (often measured by test scores in a few subjects), the more it stifles creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit." (2)
Why is entrepreneurial learning relevant?
With a skill half-life of only several years, it will become increasingly essential for people to reinvent themselves, and acquire new skill sets, for economic and social sustainability. Zhao differentiates employment-oriented education from entrepreneur-oriented education by contrasting employability skills versus enhanced human talents.
- Students, with the help of a mentor, plan, organize, manage, measure, and reflect upon their learning.
- Teachers, also entrepreneurial learners, provide cross-curricular mentorship to students.
- Connecting and networking helps shift learning from content-based, to context-based experiences.
- Making and tinkering reinforces creativity, persistence, collaboration, and problem-solving.
- All learners use portfolios for journaling, reflecting, documenting, and sharing.
- Project-based/problem-based education provides the foundation for authenticity in learning and assessment.
- Curriculum and assessment are flexible and negotiated between mentor and learner.
- The learner defines and manages the educational pathways.
- The learner asks the key questions that drive inquiry and discovery.
Examples of Schools Featuring Entrepreneurial Learning
- High Tech High - San Diego, CA
- The Clearwater School - Bothell, WA
- Science Leadership Academy - Philadelphia, PA
- Northwest Passage High School - Coon Rapids, MN
- Northstar - St. Hadley, MA
- General Assembly
There are undoubtedly other shining examples of schools featuring entrepreneurial learning. Please share your examples in the comment section below. Thank you to Terry Heick at TeachThought for sharing this terrific video highlighting entrepreneurial learning.
(2) World Class Learners: Educating Creative & Entrepreneurial Learners, Yong Zhao
photo credit: Nathan Wind as Cochese via photopin cc