Innovation or entrepreneurship, that is the question.

My travel companion at this moment, Jessica Paños, and I have been discussion around a topic for a couple of weeks. It’s not new, but we feel it needs clarification. We are referring to the difference, if there is one, between entrepreneurship and innovation in education.On the one hand, I defend that entrepreneurship in education is possible. In fact, there are more than one experience and project that demonstrate it. So, for one, I’ll continue to defend and shout to the four winds the great examples of it whenever I can (here are some examples: IdeoVittra SchoolSistema Amara BerriCoverEmprendeKidsInnovandis and Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation). On the other hand, I also believe that we innovate a lot in education, although we should do more oftenly, either in the design and development of programs, in its implementation, in the structuring of space and in time management, in the use of more active methodologies in which the student is the protagonist, in the way we have the educators in general to teach our lessons and to relate to students, etc. And we have a lot of teacherpreneur around us and many P.E.

That said, the truth is that when we talk to other colleagues of the educational field about entrepreneurship, many (not all) tell us that “what” we talk about is not related to entrepreneurship but to innovation. It’s when I decide to show my entrepreneurial side and fight tooth and nail for the fact that there are very innovative educators and enterpreneurs. Because, for me, what counts is the P.E., whether it’s a teacher or not. Obviously, the teacherpreneur develops their profession in a different area than the engineer, architect, lawyer or other professional, but that gene, that attitude, that own DNA of the P.E, which can also be cultivated, is also presented in our profession.

So, I encourage you to innovate inside or outside the classrooms and, at the same time, to undertake your projects, better if they are innovative, inside or outside our educational institutions, as long as our goal is to find the best way to contribute to personal, social and community development of our clients (the students, the participant in a specific course or session or the citizen, etc.).

You can see that today I’m not bringing you any P.E. in particular; today I want to make you think a little and I ask you to help me by pointing out where you would place the following examples. Are we talking about innovation or entrepreneurship?

  1. The opening of a school in a population without resources.
  2. The implementation of an active methodology.
  3. The design of a new methodology to develop oral communication.
  4. The design of a new application to promote the taste for reading.
  5. The design of educational spaces according to the “new” principles of learning.
  6. The development of a project aimed at developing the entrepreneurial spirit among students.
  7. The flipped classroom or inverted class.
  8. The planning of class schedules according to the needs of each student.
  9. The implementation of Project Based Learning in an institution that has never used it before.
  10. The use of ICT.
  11. Gamification.

As I said at the start, Jessica and I are now immersed in this debate and we are conducting a little research on what it means to undertake and innovate in education. If you want, we will be happy to have your opinion. We throw the question to you and you decide what to do: what does entrepreneurship and innovation in education mean to you? If you have an example in which it reflects what you tell us, great.

By the way, you can contact us through our mails: aarruti@deusto.es and jessicapanos@deusto.es

Keep enjoying the week.

Translated by María Ubierna Quintanilla and supervised by Arantza Arruti.

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