The Entrepreneurial Learner

by Jul 5, 2016The How

One of the main “hows” we advocate at Eliad Group is Entrepreneurial Learning.

Because 1) the concept crucially includes the learner as part of the equation, and 2) it describes an attitude and approach that both learner and educator can use to keep focused on the key paradigm shifts we advocate shifting in education. So why the term Entrepreneurial Learner, given that many may misinterpret it as advocating a focus on money and business exclusively? Our application of the term to learning is very intentional here, and is meant to conjure what is conveyed by a common synonym for the term: enterprising “having or showing initiative and resourcefulness”

Those are the characteristics of an entrepreneur, and they are ones that we think most of our schooling paradigms do not currently promote—in fact actively counteract. We think we should be training learners to bring forth initiative and resourcefulness in everything they endeavor towards, including their own learning.

Photo credit

Photo credit

The definition of “entrepreneur” that we are working off of is:

“characterized by the taking of financial risks in the hope of profit”

But We’re using the French word origin, “entreprendre,” meaning “to undertake” as a mandate for latitude to apply the characteristics of entrepreneurship—indeed the habits, skills, and attitudes that help one be successful at goals of one’s own choosing—to learning. We think it’s critical that we do so. Education is so often seen as something that is done to students. We don’t think students should “receive” an education. We think they should undertake one—and take risks doing so—for their own profit and the profit of the world they live in.  As We look around, we’re also seeing this language used by Yong Zhao, among others. Here are a couple of articles for further reading:

Can Schools Cultivate a Student’s Ability to Think Differently

Why Realizing the Full Promise of Education Requires a Fresh Approach