How do Italian vocational teachers educate for a sense of initiative and entrepreneurship? Development and initial application of the SIE questionnaire
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine how educators can teach the key competence of a sense of initiative and entrepreneurship (SIE) as a cross-curricular subject in compulsory education. It draws both on the literature relating to entrepreneurial education and on competence-based education to set out five features of entrepreneurial teaching. For illustrative purposes, these five characteristics are explored in a questionnaire put to a small group of teaching staff. Design/methodology/approach This study employs a qualitative approach, seeking to understand the personal perspectives of participants, and drawing out the complexities of their behaviour, whilst also providing a holistic interpretation of such behaviour. Findings The literature review identifies five features of entrepreneurial teaching: embedding learning outcomes for a SIE within taught subjects; active entrepreneurial teaching; educating for entrepreneurial attitudes; networking activities; being entrepreneurial as part of lifelong learning. It can be hypothesised that teaching staff teach different aspects of the SIE depending on the subject they teach (vocational or more traditional) and their role (teacher or workshop assistant). Originality/value Development of the SIE and the five characteristics of entrepreneurial teaching is a first step towards understanding how secondary vocational teachers and workshop assistants understand and teach the SIE as cross-curricular subject. In line with Fayolle and Gailly who called for deeper investigation of the most effective combinations of objectives, content and teaching methods, the paper seeks to establish a relationship between teaching methods, development of entrepreneurial attitudes and assessment.
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