How have we been teaching without entrepreneurship education for so long?

Read an in-depth interview with EntreCompEdu teacher trainer Marinella Parra Mier y Terán in Spain below: 

As the trainer delivering the EntreCompEdu Continuous Professional Development Programme in Spain, what do you think of the EntreCompEdu training for educators?

I spent more than twenty years in a classroom and enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve always felt teaching was part of my DNA. I still remember when project-based learning revolutionized the way our students learned. That is exactly how I feel about EntreCompEdu…: “How come we’ve been teaching without entrepreneurial education??? Driving others to create value for others… Is there another way to teach?”

For personal reasons I moved from Venezuela to Spain four years ago, I really missed being surrounded by children. Part of this journey made me join Fundación Créate who made me reinvent myself and dedicate myself to entrepreneurial education. That’s exactly what we do every day, we train and support teachers in the art of teaching through entrepreneurship. This revolution in the classroom is truly transformative and witnessing it is very exciting. Joining the EntreComp project has been like icing to my cake! I believe training educators in entrepreneurial education is a real and wonderful necessity.

How is the training going so far: how are the teachers reacting to the idea of an entrepreneurial education?

They all believe it is essential. They all agree that education should be entrepreneurial. However, I believe they think it is still a utopia. What they’ve been learning in our course was new for some, others have been involved in entrepreneurship in education somehow, but to be honest, most find it hard to implement. In general, I could say that Preschool and Primary teachers, often find it easier to turn everything upside down to adopt the entrepreneurial competences as part of their teaching. Some higher education teachers feel that unless everybody is “on board” it’s difficult to do it.

I must say that I’ve been impressed with how generous participants in Spain have been. The depth of their answers and reflections have been amazing. Their sharing and feedback is truly constructive for everybody!

What happens in-between the training days? Do your educators get homework from you?

Not homework as such, since there is a lot of good activities for them to work with on the platform. However, the dynamics and activities that I designed for them to do during the face-to-face sessions have had the intention to motivate and inspire them, make them think and introduce changes… Some of the participants were very grateful for being able to learn a new way to approach their planning, teaching, and evaluation system. It was inspiring and emotional for me too!

What do you observe in-between training on the LoopMe learning platform?

We engage with the teachers on the LoopMe platform and they are engaging with one another too, which is great. The feedback about the platform is positive as it is easy-to-use for both the learner and myself as the trainer. They feel supported all the time.

Some of the feedback that we gathered after our sessions so far, for example, includes the positive aspects that the program shares a lot of information and where to find more, that the tutors and other educators provide answers very quickly, and that teachers take away a lot of inspiration and feel encouraged. When it comes to practice, our teachers felt bad sometimes about not being able to do all activities in-between sessions due to time constraints. This is something that will be considered for the future, I am sure.

Marianella Parra Mier y Terán delivers the EntreCompEdu teacher training in Spain. She is the Educational Innovation Programs Coordinator for Latin America at Fundación Créate. Marianella trained as a teacher in Venezuela and looks back on 25 years of classroom experience.

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