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The Central Elements of Entrepreneurship Education: A Case Study in Northern Finland

Leena Eskola, Kaija Arhio, Anna-Mari Simunaniemi and Harri Jokela
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Leena Eskola: University of Oulu, Finland
Kaija Arhio: Centria University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Anna-Mari Simunaniemi: University of Oulu, Finland
Harri Jokela: University of Oulu, Finland

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Abstract: The European Commission’s Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan names school-based entrepreneurship education as a key issue for ensuring the development of the European welfare. Accordingly, the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture announced national guidelines to ensure it reaches its entrepreneurship education objectives by 2015. To comply with these guidelines, the various Finnish regions have initiated targeted development actions for improving entrepreneurship education. Practitioners and researchers share a common understanding of the central elements that a coherent entrepreneurship education pathway should include. This study aims to analyse how these central elements are incorporated at various education levels. This is a cross-sectional multiple-case study based on a semi-structured web-based questionnaire. It takes various education levels, including the comprehensive-school level, the secondary-school level and the polytechnic school and university levels, as its units of analysis and seeks to form a comprehensive picture of the entrepreneurship education pathway in Northern Finland. The questionnaire was sent to headmasters and education managers at the comprehensive- and secondary-school levels, as well as education planners and study advisors (n=67). The data revealed that a coherent entrepreneurship education pathway is not being realized in the target region. This is because the resources for teaching entrepreneurship education are not optimally allocated between the central elements. For example, some elements are repeated at almost all levels of entrepreneurship education, while others are nearly absent. This study highlights the need for strategic joint action. Additionally, this paper discusses gaps in the entrepreneurship education pathway and suggests action for developing a joint strategy for meeting the entrepreneurship education objectives.

Keywords: entrepreneurship education; education pathway; strategy; education; case study; Finland (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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