Teaching pigeons to dance: sense and meaning in entrepreneurship education

Paul D. Hannon (National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship, Birmingham, UK)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Publication date: 1 June 2006



This paper aims to explore the philosophical and conceptual understanding of entrepreneurship education through borrowing and applying conceptualisations of education from education theory to bring deeper meaning to approaches to entrepreneurship education in UK higher education institutions (HEIs).


This paper identifies existing theoretical and conceptual frameworks from adult education and applies these to the phenomenon of entrepreneurship education as a sense‐making tool from which deeper insights and understanding are gained.


As a conceptual paper the “findings” relate to the unearthing of the inherent drivers and values to the design and delivery of entrepreneurship education in UK HEIs. Applying education theoretical frameworks enables presentation of a purposeful and guiding framework for effective curricula design in entrepreneurship thereby enabling coherence and cohesion of approach and achievable outcomes. Furthermore, the paper maps the purpose and role of educators against a segmented framework to draw out distinctions across contexts and to present the need for a clarification of the role of the educator in the entrepreneurial learning process. This enables a discussion of the development needs of entrepreneurship educators for the UK.

Practical implications

Overall, the paper presents implications for HEIs in how they conceive of and introduce entrepreneurship education; educators and the role they perform in effective entrepreneurship education and curricula designers in developing meaningful “fit for purpose” offerings across the diversity of the entrepreneurial opportunity environment.


This paper further builds on a significant gap in the extant knowledge and literature for enhancing understanding in the development of the field of entrepreneurship education within higher education in the UK.



Hannon, P. (2006), "Teaching pigeons to dance: sense and meaning in entrepreneurship education", Education + Training, Vol. 48 No. 5, pp. 296-308. https://doi.org/10.1108/00400910610677018

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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