The Education Through Entrepreneurial Spirit, along with its levers of awareness, experimentation, acknowledgement and self-affirmation, is an excellent pedagogical approach that has a significant impact on the development of young people, student perseverance and educational success.
Whether you work with young people in elementary or secondary school, watch this capsule (in French only) to better understand the goals of this excellent approach and its impacts. 👇
💡 Tip: An activity can join more than one lever. For example, the production of an article or a video to present the entrepreneurial project (Acknowledgement lever) can be enhanced by highlighting students who talk about their entrepreneurial experience. Thus, the Affirmation lever is joined with this same activity.
In the context of a visit to a business or a presentation during the Semaine des entrepreneurs à l’école, young people see the human adventure of entrepreneurship.
Awareness contributes to entrepreneurial culture and translates into a greater tolerance for risk, openness to new things, awareness of the importance of buying from Québec businesses, appreciation of the human power in all forms of entrepreneurship, and words of encouragement for those who initiate projects.
Young people are at the heart of the action to carry out a project that responds to an identified need in their community, whether it is the launch of a new product or the establishment of a service.
Entrepreneurial experimentation is a powerful tool for success. In addition to placing learning in context (what it’s for), experimentation has positive impacts on building identity (discover who I am), the sense of competence (what I’m good at), the feeling of belonging (emotional involvement) and, for older students, it provides career choices (what I like doing).
Education professionals who use entrepreneurial experimentation report a renewal of their teaching practices, greater pleasure in teaching, a decrease in behavioural problems and class management.
Acknowledgement activities highlight the initiatives that were carried out, sometimes in the form of a video of the project posted on the school’s Facebook page, a registration for the OSEntreprendre Challenge or recognition given in front of peers at the end-of-year party.
Acknowledgement helps students to increase their levels of satisfaction, confidence and self-esteem by having their accomplishments recognized by others (family, peers, community). In addition to contributing to a vibrant school environment and inspiring other students to try their hand at entrepreneurship, third-party acknowledgement strengthens the relevance of the students’ efforts and enables them to become aware of their own path.
By enumerating the qualities they have developed in carrying out a project, by posting a photograph with a tool from the “Entrepreneurship, I’m up for the Challenge!” campaign, by using the #moijosentreprendre hashtag to share their journey, young people have the opportunity to discover an entrepreneurial identity or even to confirm a career aspiration based on a field of interest (”I want to run my own farming business”).
These opportunities for self-affirmation help people to take ownership of their achievements and integrate them into their identity, and give them control over their lives. By showcasing themselves, young people inspire others!
Entrepreneurial culture can be described as a way, shared by a group, to discover, encourage or contribute to individual and group initiatives that change the world around us. Among other things, it translates into greater acceptance of risk, awareness of the importance of buying locally, encouragement given to project initiators, and openness to innovation and all things new. Strong entrepreneurial culture provides fertile ground that stimulates community pride and involvement, regional vitality, different forms of collaboration and the influence of groups that are under-represented in positions of power, such as women, young people and immigrants. This culture is developed in young people when they see it in our families, our behaviour, when meeting an entrepreneur, when visiting a business, etc.
By carrying out a project alongside education professionals in which they are at the heart of the action, students change their world. Entrepreneurial experimentation is a powerful tool for motivation and success that helps students by placing learning in context (what is it for), building their identity (who am I), developing a feeling of competence (what I’m good at), providing career guidance (what I like to do) and creating a sense of belonging.
Entrepreneurial experimentation acts directly upon several principles that foster student perseverance (Reducing the Dropout Rate at the End of Secondary School, Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport, 2013):
“The students are so interested that they surpass expectations. Their focus on and motivation for the work increases exponentially, despite the magnitude of the task. I have also noticed that some students have reached their potential and gained self-confidence thanks to their peers and the tasks they choose.”–Secondary school teacher
“Things could not go on as they were. I had to find a new way of teaching that would capture my students’ interest, motivate them and help them to learn in their own way. Entrepreneurship proved to be a revelation for my classroom.”–Special needs teacher
“Every time I carry out a project with my students, a collective action takes place around us, originating from both school and community stakeholders.”–Elementary school teacher
“The students are definitely motivated by this type of project. We start with their ideas, set everything in motion and they are commended. And the parents get just as involved, which creates some fabulous school memories.”–Secondary school teacher
Acknowledging the accomplishments of young people who put themselves at the heart of the action allows them to be fully conscious of their experience and journey. Through acknowledgement from their teacher, peers, family and community, the students’ own perception of themselves is reinforced, at a time when their identity is undergoing a rapid change. This phenomenon can be particularly significant for students who progress further through action taken than through formal learning, those who have difficulty placing learning in context, those with high development potential and those with self-esteem issues.
“When schools encourage a broad range of experiences and projects that challenge and involve students, they give students the tools to find a path that corresponds to their aspirations, interests and aptitudes. . . These challenges provide opportunities for students to discover their strengths, to strive to surpass themselves and to become aware of the career and entrepreneurial possibilities available to them.” (Québec Education Program, Cycle 2)