Why? What is that? What does it say? Or why not? These are some of the questions most parents (I include myself among those) have or have had to answer many times a day to our children during their first years of life. Why do these questions change or disappear when they (we) start getting old? Moreover, why do some of us have to use the extracurricular programs to “give back” to our children their own attitudes and skills?
Today, I would like to focus on the education of the entrepreneurial competence of our children and think out loud.
Last Thursday and Friday, the 29th and 30th of June, I was able to participate together with more than 500 people in the VI Multidisciplinary International Conference on Educational Research, which took place at the University of Deusto. Apart from enjoying excellent communications from colleagues of different education fields and perspectives, on Friday morning I presented, together with my colleague Jessica Paños, the communication Hacia la configuración de la formación inicial del Teacherpreneur: análisis y reflexiones sobre las menciones del grado de Educación Primaria. (Towards the shaping of the initial training of the Teacherpreneur: analysis and reflections about the mentions of the Primary Education degree).
The main goal was to analyze the specific training on entrepreneurship teachers receive during their initial training at university, specially through mentions. Unfortunately, this is visibly lacking, just a few universities contribute to it with a touch to its development. That said, both me and my colleague are convinced that we have to start to educate on entrepreneurship from the very beginning of the educational system. In that sense, more than one expert and researcher of the education field has highlighted the necessity to form them in entrepreneurial competences. So, already in 2013, the European Commission was inviting us to integrate the entrepreneurial competence in the study programs of the primary and secondary schools, and to promote a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation through those programs.
Similarly, the Organic Law 8/2013, of the 9th of December, on the Improvement of the Quality of Education (LOMCE in Spanish), had, then, as an objective to stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit of the students and kept affirming that “it is necessary to acquire, from an early age, transversal competences, such as critical thinking, management of diversity, creativity or the ability to communicate, and key attitudes such as individual trust, enthusiasm, constancy and acceptance of the change”. In fact, these ideas can be seen in the article 17 (objectives of the primary school): “Developing individual and team work habits, effort and responsibility habits to study, as well as attitudes of self-confidence, critical sense, personal initiative, curiosity, interest and creativity in learning, and the entrepreneurial spirit”.
Why don’t we take advantage of the personality of our children in primary school and their attitudes so that the competences of an E.P. keep growing?
My answer is that, on the one hand, teachers aren’t prepared for it and, on the other hand, that we still have a lot to improve and educate in terms of competences, among them, the entrepreneurial one.
The truth is that there are many programs and initiatives directed to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit or some of the competences of E.P. among children in and out the classroom. Here you have some of them:
- Fundación Créate
- Fundación Promete
- Young Potential Development
- Junior Achievement
- Grow Working
- Talentum Schools
- Thamer Creative School
- AJE kids
These programs, and many that I haven’t put here, are so good, I’m not going to deny it. But let’s not fool ourselves, to work on the entrepreneurial spirit is not only achieved just with participation of our children in a program a few days, even though, by the way, less is nothing. Thus, first, we have to thank the effort of the associations, foundations, companies and individuals in their bet for their compromise with the entrepreneurial spirit of children, and their training.
Personally, I think that we have to go further and do everything that is in our hands (which is not small) so EVERYONE that are a part of the teaching community involve ourselves in the entrepreneurial education of our children. Because, let me remind you one of their characteristics, those they surprise us with since they are little: curiosity, perseverance, observation, creativity, initiative, enthusiasm, leadership (some of them have more than enough) or trust, among others.
So now, what? Are we willing to keep putting up barriers to the entrepreneurial spirit of the E.P. of the future? When are we going to make the necessary steps so the students can keep feeding their entrepreneurial competences?
And you, what are you willing to do?
Enjoy the month of July.