Teaching Entrepreneurship

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Can one really teach entrepreneurship? The idea that the skills to start up and successfully run your own business are at hand within a teaching module begs every one to consider the possibility for testing the effectiveness of teaching these skills. In a normal class, every person learns and receives the same curriculum, then each takes the same administered test and then after that, the proficiency in the testing serves as a measure of how well you have assimilated the course material.

However, the truth is that standardized assessment tests are woefully bad at determining learning because many of them rely on the ability to reproduce the course material for the examiner and they rely wholly on rote memorization to achieve this level of knowledge. I am not discounting the fact that there are people, who learn from a certain course and retain that knowledge through analysis and application of the material, but it does prompt me to wonder, can we teach entrepreneurship skills be taught to non-traditional learners without this emphasis on standardized testing.

 In the United States, the National Foundation For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) is the premier youth teacher in the field of entrepreneurship. The Foundation believes that young people can learn the skills needed to change their own financial futures at any age. I have a feeling that this particular area of business skills can be taught to young women especially because learning a trade, such as hairdressing is only as successful as your management.

 Ryan P. Allis, a young entrepreneurship teacher said:

“Only by teaching does one really learn the material. Through teaching entrepreneurship I added quite a bit to my knowledge about entrepreneurship and business. I learned about Porter’s Five Forces, additional types of alternative financing, new distribution models, the marketing wheel, and a new type of break-even analysis.

Just as important, however, was my learning about people and leadership. I learned how to relate and connect to younger teenagers. I learned how to handle a position of authority. I learned how to write a forty-five minute speech in two hours. I learned teaching styles. I learned that if you know what you are talking about and can gain someone’s trust, he or she will follow you. I learned how to inspire and motivate. I learned how to understand motives and read the body language and tone of a person. I learned how to build rapport and relationships. And I learned how to go ten days with forty hours of sleep.”

I need to learn how to teach entrepreneurship and business skills.

Have an enterprising Friday



One thought on “Teaching Entrepreneurship

  1. Thanks for the mention!

    Entrepreneurship–In my opinion should be taught to those already in business, so as to improve their business. E.g. how to manage cash flow, or how to market so as to get more customers.

    I think there is a difference however, in teaching somebody a craft, so that they can later use the skill to earn a living, like you say, hairdressing.

    I throughly enjoy training, but a breakthrough was a course I did on how to deliver effective training, whereby, the trainer focuses less on how ‘they are doing’, and more on, the delegates-‘are they following and gitching what I am saying to them’. It was a turning point for me!

    Welcome to PS. Thanks for the comment.

    I believe that the kind of teaching that you speak of is more interactive where both the instructor and the learner take away a lesson about the material they are teaching and from each other.

    With teaching a skill that can empower someone, one can take a cow to the river but you cannot make it drink. If the will to learn is there, nothing can separate the person from the learning process. As a current student, I certainly know that the best kinds of lessons are those which allow personal choice in the course. For instance, when you remind people of the end goals of the course.

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