In early October, Lappeenranta University of Technology together with LAMK Lahti University of Applied Sciences and in cooperation with the Scientific Entrepreneurship Education Association organised the 12th Annual Entrepreneurship Education Conference.
Inspiring conference with EntreCompEdu’s own Martin Lackéus as keynote
Almost 150 entrepreneurship education researchers and specialists met in Lahti (Finland) to discuss strengthening and managing entrepreneurial culture, Intrapreneurship in different contexts, innovative pedagogical solutions for entrepreneurship promotion, growth into entrepreneurship and growth as an entrepreneur as well as responsibilities and the future directions of entrepreneurship education. The conference offered an excellent opportunity for participants to hear about the latest on the different aspects of entrepreneurship education, test teaching tools, meet and network and of course discuss and compare experiences with their colleagues from all over Finland.
Attendees heard from the foremost recognised Nordic entrepreneurship education researchers: Lene Foss (Arctic University of Norway), Martin Lackéus, a researcher at Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) and Emerita Professor Paula Kyrö. They presented contemporary concepts of entrepreneurship education from different points of view. Martin, who is a partner in our EntreCompEdu project, inspired a lively discussion among teachers and researchers.
EntreCompEdu workshop with teachers
In addition, our EntreCompEdu team organised a workshop for 40 primary and secondary school teachers from the Lahti region to share practical tools for teaching entrepreneurship education with them. EntreCompEdu’s own Elin McCallum and Lea Oksanen led a workshop on the EntreCompEdu professional skills framework. They gathered feedback from the teachers to ensure that all outcomes that the project develops will be as practical and close to the daily life of teachers as possible. In addition, the teachers had the opportunity to learn more about the European Union’s EntreComp framework.
As one teacher put it: “What I will take home with me is the definition of entrepreneurship. We teachers should bravely seek collaboration outside the school walls in entrepreneurship education”.
Our own Lea Oksanen, who as a Researcher at LUT co-organised the conference, reflected: “Listening to the discussion between Bantani’s Elin McCallum and our participant teachers, it struck me how important EntreCompEdu’s kind of entrepreneurship education really is. This is what we need.” She says, “We need real-life examples of how to carry out entrepreneurship education and start implementing in the classroom”.
In addition to his keynote, Martin Lackéus also delivered a workshop on the LoopMe social learning media tool that ´also underpins EntreCompEdu’s continuous professional development course. Martin is a specialist in value creation pedagogy. Value creation pedagogy solves multiple issues for teachers by enhancing student engagement and thus learner motivation, which helps teachers as it leads to deeper learning of core curriculum content. It struck a chord with attending teachers as one participant reflected: “Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education is not easy – it takes a lot of effort and planning together to succeed. Value creation pedagogy is something to look into!”
This 12th Entrepreneurship Education Conference was the first time to include a day targeted at teachers, but it will certainly not be the last time! The feedback from teachers shows there is a vast need for practical tools, peer support, teacher-to-teacher interaction as well as researcher-to-teacher and developer-to-teacher discussion of best practices and new findings. Collaboration with entrepreneurs, policy-makers and students, as well as promotion and facilitation of entrepreneurship education at all levels of education is paramount, and this means that we as the EntreCompEdu team have an important job to do.
By Lea Oksanen and Hilkka Laakso with Rebecca Weicht