After six years of action-based research on entrepreneurial education I am about to finalize my doctoral thesis. It will be about value creation as a new educational philosophy, or learning-by-(using-knowledge-for)-creating-value-(to-others). I view this as an attempt to build on Dewey’s educational philosophy of learning-by-doing, trying to give a more firm answer to the question Learning-by-Doing-WHAT? Or, what should we let our students do in order for them to learn more in-depth and also to develop entrepreneurial competencies?
I have made a 10-minute video about it in English here and in Swedish here. I have also written a summary of entrepreneurial education for OECD where I outline many of my perspectives on this educational philosophy. The English version is here, and the Swedish version is here. I’ve also recently written a working paper outlining some differences between self-focused and others-focused entrepreneurial education, read it here.
The usual case for a doctoral thesis is that it will be read by almost nobody. The usual reader frequency is about 2 people – the opponent and the supervisor. This time however I know that there are people out there who are interested in this educational philosophy already. Some have started using it explicitly, whereas others are already working like this but not labeling it learning-by-creating-value.
Therefore I thought I’d take the opportunity to ask for some help with my doctoral thesis. I have formulated a couple of questions below. Any attempt to give answers to these questions is highly appreciated. E-mail me, comment on the blog, Tweet me or call me. I have also made a web survey where you can type your thoughts on these matters, please find it here. Here are the questions:
Why is it so rare for teachers to ask of their students to create value to people outside class? I have discussed this question on page 12 in my latest working paper “Two Flavors of Entrepreneurial Education”, which you can find here. My guess so far is that it is a combination of a couple of reasons. One possible explanation could be that today’s teachers view themselves as suppliers of knowledge and view their students as customers, i.e. a “students-as-takers” culture. So the idea of regarding them as givers of value to others never crosses their mind. Another explanation could be that adults don’t perceive youths as capable of delivering value to outside stakeholders, and therefore seldom give them a chance to even try.
Why do students get more motivated and learn more in-depth from creating value to others? Much of my work has been about discussing how, when and why students learn when they create value to others. For example, in my lastest working paper linked above I have dug into motivation theory to try to find answers to this. But from a very practical point of view, what is the difference here? Any reflections are appreciated here!
How can we get more teachers to work with value creation pedagogy? While it is perhaps a nice idea in theory to let our students learn by creating value to others, how do we get our fellow teachers to start applying it in their classrooms? Educational change is perhaps one of the most challenging issues in our education system today. So what are the challenges that need to be overcome? What are the neat tips and tricks that get it going in practice? How can we increase the rate of adoption among teachers and schools?
What are the most illustrative examples of value creation pedagogy out there? We humans understand by example. When we hear about how something is applied in practice in a concrete way, we get what it is all about. So what are the most illustrative and insightful examples of value creation pedagogy out there? What value was created, for whom, and why? What did the students learn from it, and how did it connect to curriculum content? How was each student supported and assessed by the teacher, during the process and afterwards?
Please continue to my web survey and give me some much needed answers and reflections: