Can Entrepreneurship be Taught in Schools?

Becoming an entrepreneur is a journey full of highs and lows, even in the best of times. Teaching entrepreneurship in schools is one way to help students gain the skills they need to succeed in their future career, no matter what it may be. It encourages them to explore their passions and to be persistent in pursuing their interests. It also prepares them for the business world by teaching them how to move forward with a business idea or project, even when times are tough.

Susan Fiorito, dean of Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship at Florida State University, believes that all faculty, staff and advocates should feel empowered as leaders of their entrepreneurship program. Developing the inclination for imagination, disruption, and counterintuitive action necessary for effective entrepreneurship does not fit into the typical curriculum of a business school. However, it is not only about teaching the skills needed to create a business, but also about empowering students with an entrepreneurial mindset and the skills, knowledge and behaviors that can serve them regardless of their career path. Entrepreneurship educators can promote business growth and economic development at the institutional, regional or national levels by teaching with an entrepreneurial mindset.

The content and skills taught in entrepreneurship classes, such as creating and testing a new business concept, help students gain confidence as they continue to explore their education and possible future career paths. Teaching, modeling, and engaging students in entrepreneurship opportunities is not only in line with many state curriculum standards, but it also helps prepare young people for future opportunities. Business education doesn't just benefit those entering the fields of science, technology and business. Many college graduates go directly to postgraduate work and remain in employment until they retire in their sixties or seventies, never considering entrepreneurship for their journey.

It is still uncommon for high school teachers to allow students multiple ways and opportunities to demonstrate concept mastery. The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto turned its entrepreneurship classroom into a medical school-style operating room, where students sit in a large auditorium and watch a professor perform surgery not on a human body, but on a startup. While modern MBA programs offer a range of entrepreneurship programs ranging from formal courses to startup competitions and incubators, there is still skepticism around the idea that academics can teach entrepreneurship in a classroom. Business schools generally don't teach this approach as they tend to focus more on lengthy risk and return calculations.

However, teachers can help students see the big picture by teaching them how to set goals for a specific period of time. We all teach so differently that it will be important for the person giving feedback to know what kind of feedback they would like to receive in the lesson.

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