Opportunities for Schools to Develop Entrepreneurship Education: the Example of Estonia
One third of Estonian schools have been teaching business in one form or another since 1992, mostly using a Junior Achievement programme. Estonian universities have not had programmes for teachers of business or economics in comprehensive schools until now. How can we implement business teaching in the general education system on a larger scale and how can we promote enterprising behaviour? Research into business teaching is currently at an initial stage in Estonia. In order to establish the steps which must be taken for implementing programmes for business teaching, it is essential to identify our current situation. What are the general attitudes towards business in general? What do business people expect from schools? The author of the paper conducted surveys in both schools and companies in 2003-2005. This paper focuses on the issues of competitiveness and enterprises covered in the surveys. Using the data from the surveys, the paper aims to analyse the attitudes and views of teachers, students and parents towards studies in the general education system, and towards competitiveness in the labour market and enterprises. The teachers’ view is that their students are competitive on the labour market as long as their level of academic knowledge is good. Most students do not see business as a career option. However, the parents’ responses allow us to draw the conclusion that their interest in and need for knowledge in economics has risen sharply. The paper points out that even while there is no systematic training of business teachers, enterprising behaviour and mindset, and students’ leadership skills can be shaped in regular classes by all teachers at a pre-school level (kindergartens), along with primary, basic and secondary education
Estonian school, entrepreneurship education, enterprising behaviour, leader
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