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Teaching Entrepreneurship as Lived Experience Through ‘Wonderment Exercises’

Entrepreneurship Education

ISBN: 978-1-78714-281-7, eISBN: 978-1-78714-280-0

Publication date: 24 May 2017


This chapter focuses on how students think before we can teach them how to act. This idea is anchored in the observation that most institutions of higher education tend to teach their students to become employees, whether in the public or private sector, rather than to become employers. Thus, the mindset with which we equip our students is not sensitised to entrepreneurial action. Therefore, the aim of this chapter is to propose and illustrate a more comprehensive approach to teaching entrepreneurship, which aims to transform the way that students think about entrepreneurship. In order to achieve this objective, we identify and develop techniques for promoting entrepreneurial awareness and preparedness in our student population, and provide tools for educators to promote the individual’s innate drive to perfect him/herself, thus recognising his/her own need for personal growth. At the theoretical level, we build on the authors’ teaching experiences from different cultural contexts, which show ways in which alternative learning initiatives may enhance enterprising thinking among students. Based on our experiences with the influence of context, we propose that it is necessary to consider seven different, yet interconnected teaching principles, which may influence the impact of entrepreneurship education and which relate to the why; where; when; what and how of entrepreneurship. In continuation, on a practical level, we suggest a coherent system of innovative educational techniques, so-called Verwunderungsübungen, or wonderment exercises, that can be used individually or in combination. By creating a comprehensive teaching paradigm for entrepreneurship we pay tribute to entrepreneurship being an inherently dynamic phenomenon, which goes beyond exclusively focusing on new venture creation.



Klapper, R.G. and Neergaard, H. (2017), "Teaching Entrepreneurship as Lived Experience Through ‘Wonderment Exercises’", Entrepreneurship Education (Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research, Vol. 7), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 145-170.



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