Entrepreneurs make a significant contribution to the health of any economy and higher education is regarded as pivotal in efforts to grow entrepreneurial talent. Entrepreneurship education has grown rapidly; yet, there is still controversy over the best way to educate and assess students. This chapter presents a study gathering a consensus of entrepreneur opinion on the concepts critical to thinking as an entrepreneur, in order to inform entrepreneurship curriculum development. There is a general lack of entrepreneurship education research that integrates the external stakeholder perspective in this way.
Using a Delphi-style method with twelve entrepreneurs, five candidate entrepreneurship threshold concepts are identified. Threshold concepts have a powerfully transformative effect on the learner, and important integrative qualities, allowing the learner to make the sense of previously isolated pockets of knowledge. A ‘new world-view’ or episteme can be constructed – a kind of disciplinary thinking, peculiar in this case, to entrepreneurs.
This chapter contributes to the call for more research grounded discussion on the quality and effectiveness of entrepreneurship education initiatives. Designing curricula around the threshold concepts in entrepreneurship will enable educators to offer particular support in areas where students are likely to get ‘stuck’ and will facilitate constructive alignment with assessment.
The author would like to thank Emerald Publishing for permission to use Hatt’s (2017) article as a basis for this chapter.
Hatt, L. (2019), "What Does it Mean to Think as an Entrepreneur? Using the Threshold Concept Framework to Inform Entrepreneurship Education", Higgins, D., Jones, P. and McGowan, P. (Ed.) Creating Entrepreneurial Space: Talking Through Multi-Voices, Reflections on Emerging Debates (Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research, Vol. 9B), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 27-44. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2040-72462019000009B003
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