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2nd Entrepreneurial Education Workshops

Global experts in entrepreneurial education emphasised the role of teachers in transforming classrooms


The 2nd Entrepreneurial Education Workshops have led to the creation of a network of educators for entrepreneurship. That was the principal conclusion of the workshops, organised by the Prince of Girona Foundation with the support of the Trilema Foundation. The goal now is to transform schools into entrepreneurial centres to nurture students’ skills.

330 people took part in the FPdGi’s 2nd Entrepreneurial Education Workshops in Caldes de Malavella. The session on Friday 21 February was attended by H.R.H. the Princess of Asturias and of Girona, and Saturday 22 February’s workshop closed with the presence of the Catalan Government’s Councillor for Education, Irene Rigau.

The 2nd Entrepreneurial Education Workshops brought to a close the How to Teach Entrepreneurial Talent programme, which was carried out over the last year as a pioneering initiative to define a new model of entrepreneurial education with the involvement of education centres and professionals from all over Spain.

The workshops provided an opportunity to present the results of the projects being run in some 120 education centres throughout Spain, based on the recommendations of the Prince of Girona Foundation’s own report Learn to be an Entrepreneur. The How to Teach Entrepreneurial Talent project involved more than 500 school heads, 320 teachers and 12,000 pupils in an initiative that encompassed six Spanish cities (Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Valencia, Santander and Girona).

The presentations by the education centres participating in the project were complemented with speeches by global experts in the area of entrepreneurial education, who highlighted the key role played by teachers in transforming schools. The guest speakers included Alison Margaret Peacock, leader in education in the UK and advisor to the UK government; Heidi Neck, expert in corporate and social entrepreneurship in the US; Paula Kyrö from Finland; José Ernesto Amorós from Chile; and from Spain, José Antonio Marina, founder of the Universidad de Padres (Parenting University) and the first person to talk about entrepreneurial education.

The 2nd Entrepreneurial Education Workshops have demonstrated that a network of educators for entrepreneurship has been created during the development of the project and the goal now is to consolidate this network and increase the number of centres participating in the project.

Listen to teachers

During the closing of the workshops, the General Manager of the Prince of Girona Foundation, Mònica Margarit, emphasised that “at the Prince of Girona Foundation we will do everything we can to give teachers a voice, to enable society to hear what they have to say and, above all, to listen to them”. She went on to remind those attending that “this is a project which, right from the very start, has listened to its main stakeholders, teachers, and has provided them with the tools they need to teach entrepreneurial talent to this country’s children”.

Following all the presentations and speeches, the workshops ended with the conclusion that education centres must help each pupil to develop his or her vital talents and they have to create contexts in which pupils can act, take the initiative, resolve real problems and learn to fail and try again. Furthermore, schools need to design academic and life skills projects and also, at the right time, professional projects.

The workshops also reached the conclusion that competences are not taught in classrooms, but are developed through training, and if children are set challenging learning objectives their potential for learning is limitless and they will take the initiative in their own learning process.

In this respect, the workshops also concluded that the key to educational success lies with good teachers. This fact was demonstrated by the work carried out last year in schools and which is enhanced by the projects’ connection to their environments, their interdisciplinary nature, collaboration among the educational community in each school and learning through projects. Furthermore, sharing experiences and knowledge about best practices helps the projects to evolve and face new educational challenges while evaluating the projects improves the quality of pupils’ and teachers’ learning.

Along these lines, the workshops highlighted the need to take the entrepreneurial projects that are currently under way to the next step with entrepreneurial schools, in a global transformation of education centres.

Learn to be an entrepreneur

The Prince of Girona Foundation’s aim is to raise awareness, promote and guide entrepreneurial education as a key aspect for young people’s futures. After organising the first entrepreneurial education workshops, in early 2012, the Foundation created a map of the existing resources in Spain, promoted greater interrelation and synergy among those who attended the workshops and wrote the report Learn to be an Entrepreneur, which details successful experiences carried out in Spain and identifies the pedagogical and didactic impact of this accumulated experience in order to propose criteria that enable new programmes to be created.

The report Learn to be an Entrepreneur: How to Teach Entrepreneurial Talent (only in Spanish), published in February 2013 by the Planeta Group and sent out to 30,000 education centres, was written by Carmen Pellicer, Beatriz Álvarez and Juan Luis Torrejón under the scientific direction of Luisa Alemany (ESADE), José Antonio Marina (Universidad de Padres/Parenting University), and José Manuel Pérez Díaz-Pericles (former Director of Valnalón).

The report is a pioneering tool and guide for teachers and other education stakeholders who actively participate in programmes to foster entrepreneurial talent during compulsory education and vocational training. Based on this report, the Prince of Girona Foundation last year carried out the ‘Educating Entrepreneurial Talent’ project to train specialists in entrepreneurial education. The project also includes advice and support for the pedagogical projects carried out in different education centres across Spain.

The organisers

The Prince of Girona Foundation believes in supporting young people in order to strengthen the capacity of the new generations to build a better and more solidary society, paying special attention to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Indeed, the Foundation seeks to become a global platform and a reference for the promotion of progress and talent through projects in which young people play a leading role. The Foundation focuses its activity on four main areas: promoting entrepreneurial initiative, the academic success of children, improving employability and fostering vocations.

The Trilema Foundation is committed to research and transforming the world of education. It has a team of professionals specialised in teaching, innovation and managing change in educational institutions. The Foundation’s team works in more than 800 schools and educational institutions in Spain and participates in numerous initiatives in other European countries.

2014 marks the end of the first year of the Educating Entrepreneurial Talent project that was launched in 2013. The 2nd Entrepreneurial Education Workshops held in Caldes de Malavella (Girona) brought this first stage to a close.

After the workshops, we are now working on finalising an external evaluation model for entrepreneurial projects which will serve as a reference for administrations, educational agents and experts in this subject.

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