After some intense work days in Leeuwarden (The Netherlands), I have come back with renewed strength after having been thinking, contrasting ideas and talking (in a formal and informal way) about a topic which is key for me: the education of our children of Primary School and of the teachers who lead them in their learning processes. That is why today I want to talk to you about the figure of the TEACHER, the teacher of the FUTURE, the ENTREPRENEUR teacher, or as many others call it now, the TEACHERPRENEUR.
In January 2013, when the European Commission adopted the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan, it was made clear that “whether or not they go on to found businesses or social enterprises, young people who benefit from entrepreneurial learning, develop business knowledge and essential skills and attitudes including creativity, initiative, tenacity, teamwork, understanding of risk and a sense of responsibility. This is the entrepreneurial mind-set that helps entrepreneurs transform ideas into action and also significantly increases employability”. Moreover, in the Plan we are talking about, it is underline that “education should be brought to life through practical experiential learning models and experience of real-world entrepreneurs. Defined entrepreneurial learning outcomes for all educators are needed, to introduce effective entrepreneurial learning methodologies into the classroom”.
Where does this lead us? As far as the European Commission is concerned, in January 2013 The Entrepreneurship Education: a guide for educators, was published. In it, the entrepreneurship education is known as a tool that can help young people to be more entrepreneurs and to develop a set of competences suitable for every area of life (not only to run a business). In fact, in November 2012, the European Commission published the communication Rethinking Education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes , in which they emphasized the necessity to develop transversal competences such as the entrepreneurial spirit, the critical thinking, the initiative, the problem solving or the collaborative work.
Here is where does appear the teacherpreneur, “teachers who have a passion for teaching, who are inspirational, openminded and confident, flexible and responsible – but also, from time to time, rulebreakers. They are people who listen well, can harness and sell ideas and can work student- and action- oriented. They are team players and have a good network. They seek to close the gap between education and economy and include external experts in their teaching; focusing on real-life experiences. They always refer to the economic aspect of a topic; and business-related subjects play an important role in their classes – across the disciplines. They follow a flexible and adaptable study plan and prefer interdisciplinary, project-based learning; using training material rather than textbooks. They put emphasis on group processes and interactions; and understand the class room sometimes as a ‘clash room’, giving room for diversity – a diversity of opinions, answers and solutions and the reflection about the learning process. An entrepreneurial teacher is more of a coach than someone who lectures. They support the individual learning processes of students and the development of personal competences.”
I am sure that a lot of you will feel identified with this and I know that neither I nor the European Commission are discovering anything new. What I really would like is that, at least, every effort that many teachers make (in whatever level of education we are) it is not in vain. It is necessary that we claim and show the world that it is not only our permanent training that enables us to face the big CHALLENGE -teaching or facilitate the learning processes of students-, but it is our passion, our desire to innovate and create new ideas to do the right things (and our work), our illusion to progress every day, our adventurous attitude and, in the end, that entrepreneurial spirit that fills us, the one that makes us possible to say I AM the TEACHERPRENEUR that our STUDENTS need.
Enjoy the end of the week and keep dreaming and doing entrepreneurial actions.