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Mirror, mirror on the wall: Role and self-conception of entrepreneurship educators - insights from an interview study

Louisa Huxtable-Thomas Orcid Logo, Paul Jones Orcid Logo, Hannah Laura Schneider

3E European Entrepreneurship Educators Conference

Swansea University Authors: Louisa Huxtable-Thomas Orcid Logo, Paul Jones Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Questions we care about (Relevance & Novelty)In the context of Entrepreneurship Education (EE), the educator is the key player in the design and delivery of EE (Toding & Venesaar, 2018; Löbler, 2006). As EE has evolved from different fields (Fayolle & Gailly, 2008), the educators come fr...

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Published in: 3E European Entrepreneurship Educators Conference
ISSN: 2411-3298
Published: 2024
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa66540
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Abstract: Questions we care about (Relevance & Novelty)In the context of Entrepreneurship Education (EE), the educator is the key player in the design and delivery of EE (Toding & Venesaar, 2018; Löbler, 2006). As EE has evolved from different fields (Fayolle & Gailly, 2008), the educators come from different backgrounds and disciplines resulting inindividualised, rather than generalised practice (Vanevenhoven, 2013). This raises the question we care about: How do Entrepreneurship Educators see themselves and how do they describe their own role in the classroom? We also investigate whether their self-reflections are embedded in theoretical frameworks.ApproachA pan-European qualitative, semi-structured, in-depth interview-study was conducted to gain insights into the educator`s self-conception and their role in EE. The study comprised 29 semi-structured interviews with experienced Entrepreneurship Educators.ResultsThe study discovered that Entrepreneurship Educators are diverse in their self-conceptualisations, their perceptions of their role in the classroom and the extent to which these were grounded in entrepreneurship or education theory. The subjective choices of educators influence the teaching process, which prompts inquiries into how they perceive their own roles and whether these perceptions align with theoretical frameworks. Findings reveal the cultural and structural barriers faced by EEs in trying to balance the resource intensive practice against the intellectually ambiguous concept of entrepreneurship.Implications for society /EE: This study provides further insights into Fayolle ́s (2013) question of "Who the Entrepreneurship Educators are” and answered the call to put increased focus on the role of the individual educator (Hägg & Gabrielsson, 2019), their backgrounds and how their decisions shaped entrepreneurial learning (Henry, 2020; Kyrö, 2015). This studyoffers novel perspectives on educators' identities, barriers faced in educational delivery, and highlights the importance of educators' awareness of underlying educational philosophies guiding their actions, stressing the necessity of pedagogical training within this domain.Value / Originality:This study addresses research gaps previously noted by Hannon (2005) and Fayolle & Gailly (2008) by confirming the ways education and entrepreneurship education theory is used by entrepreneurship educators.
Keywords: entrepreneurship, educator, educator perspective, qualitative interview-study, educator-centred perspective
College: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences