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How can teachers’ entrepreneurial competences be developed? A collaborative learning perspective

Katariina Peltonen (Department of Management Studies/Entrepreneurship, Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki, Finland)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 13 July 2015




The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of collaborative learning in the development of teachers’ entrepreneurial competences in the school context at primary, secondary and vocational levels of education.


The research is based on an interpretative and collaborative learning approach to teachers’ entrepreneurial competence development. The empirical work relies on teachers’ written learning reflections collected during the chosen training programme and applies an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) method to analyze the data.


The findings demonstrate that collaborative learning can help teachers to adopt a more entrepreneurial teaching approach. The findings highlight that social interaction and collegial support are important “drivers” for building self-confidence, further showing that conceptual and pedagogical renewal leads to an in-depth understanding of the work role and its meaning in society.

Research limitations/implications

The study is of an explorative nature and bound to a specific contextual setting in Finland. Therefore further empirical research is needed to affirm the study’s suggestions on the effects of other collaborative learning interactions.

Practical implications

The research findings provide new insights for teacher trainers and policy makers on how to enhance entrepreneurial teaching competences. The study concludes with new directions for designing and managing teacher training programmes.


The paper enhances the understanding of teachers’ entrepreneurial competences, the role of collaborative peer learning in this process and thus bridges the gap between teacher research and entrepreneurial competence literature.



Research was funded by The Yrjö Uitto Foundation.


Peltonen, K. (2015), "How can teachers’ entrepreneurial competences be developed? A collaborative learning perspective", Education + Training, Vol. 57 No. 5, pp. 492-511.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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