This paper seeks to suggest that the most appropriate way to construe the concept of enterprise education is from a pedagogical viewpoint. Enterprise education as pedagogy is argued to be the most appropriate way to think about the concept and serves to demarcate it from entrepreneurship education, which is very much about business start‐up and the new venture creation process.
Enterprise education is underpinned by experiential action learning that can be in, outside and away from the normal classroom environment. It can be delivered across a range of subject areas throughout different phases of education.
Enterprise and entrepreneurship education are perceived to be conflated terms that for many in the education and business communities mean much the same thing. Adopting an enterprise education approach allows greater pupil/student ownership of the learning process.
Enterprise education as pedagogy advocates an approach to teaching where specific learning outcomes differ across and between different educational phases and subject areas but which has a clear and coherent philosophical underpinning.
Enterprise education should not be equated solely with business, as it is a broader, deeper and richer concept. The theoretical import of the paper is in part a plea for a more rigorous, practically informed analysis of the different strands (pedagogy, entrepreneurship, citizenship and civic responsibility) that make up enterprise education. The paper also sets out the case for a more critical analysis of enterprise education.
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