Entrepreneurship Education in Basic and Upper Secondary Education – Measurement and Empirical Evidence

Entrepreneurship Education in Basic and Upper Secondary Education - Measurement and Empirical Evidence - 2014: Ruskovaara, Elena – Lappeenrannan teknillinen yliopisto, Kauppakorkeakoulu / Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT School of Business.

Short Description

The starting point of this study is to direct more attention to the teacher and those entrepreneurship education practices taking place in formal school to find out solutions for more effective promotion of entrepreneurship education. For this objective, the strategy-level aims of entrepreneurship education need to be operationalised into measurable and understandable teacher-level practices. Furthermore, to enable the effective development of entrepreneurship education in basic and upper secondary level education, more knowledge is needed of the state of affairs of entrepreneurship education in teaching.

The purpose of the study is to increase the level of understanding of teachers’ entrepreneurship education practices, and through this to develop entrepreneurship education. 

This study builds on the literature on entrepreneurship education and especially those elements referring to the aims, resources, benefits, methods, and practises of entrepreneurship education. The study comprises five articles highlighting teachers’ role in entrepreneurship education. In the first article the concept of entrepreneurship and the teachers role in reflection upon his/hers approaches to entrepreneurship education are considered. The second article provides a detailed analysis of the process of developing a measurement tool to depict the teachers’ activities in entrepreneurship education. The next three articles highlight the teachers’ role in directing the entrepreneurship education in basic and upper secondary level education. Furthermore, they analyse the relationship between the entrepreneurship education practises and the teachers’ background characteristics. 

The results of the study suggest a wide range of conclusions and implications.

  • First, in spite of many outspoken aims connected to entrepreneurship education, teachers have not set any aims for themselves. Additionally, aims and results seem to mix. However, it is possible to develop teachers’ target orientation by supporting their reflection skills, and through measurement and evaluation increase their understanding of their own practices.
  • Second, applying a participatory action process it is possible to operationalise teachers’entrepreneurship education practices. It is central to include the practitioners’ perspective in the development of measures to make sure that the concepts and aims of entrepreneurship education are understood.
  • Third, teachers’ demographic or tenure-related background characteristics do not affect their entrepreneurship education practices, but their training related to entrepreneurship education, participation in different school-level or regional planning, and their own capabilities support entrepreneurship education.
  • Fourth, a large number of methods are applied to entrepreneurship education, and the most often used methods were different kinds of discussions, which seem to be an easy, low-threshold way for teachers to include entrepreneurship education regularly in their teaching. Field trips to business enterprises or inviting entrepreneurs to present their work in schools are used fairly seldom. Interestingly, visits outside the school are more common than visitors invited to the school. In line, most of the entrepreneurship education practices take place in a classroom. Therefore it seems to be useful to create and encourage teachers towards more in-depth cooperation with companies (e.g. via joint projects) and to network systematically.
  • Finally, there are plenty of resources available for entrepreneurship education, such as ready-made materials, external stakeholders, support organisations, and learning games, but teachers have utilized them only marginally.





Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT School of Business


Elena Ruskovaara

Type of document

PhD Thesis

Year published


Key words

Entrepreneurship education; basic and upper secondary education; teacher’s role; methods of entrepreneurship education; contents of entrepreneurship education; empirical evidence; measuring.

Pliki do pobrania:

Väikkäri Ruskovaara A4.pdf / 2742kB

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