Teacher training can help teachers to adapt to new teaching methodologies arising from educational reforms. However, this better alignment might not translate into better results for students if evaluation methodologies are not adapted accordingly.
Intensive teacher training is provided to teachers in charge of an entrepreneurship education course newly introduced as part of a countrywide education reform to introduce new pedagogical approaches and content.
The course is aimed at developing very specific enterprise skills like designing marketing materials and more general skills like effective communication or setting goals. It covers the full cycle of business creation and development, including product development, registration, legal issues, marketing, accounting and customer relations. It also includes weekly ‘skills labs’ in which students practise business skills by role-playing group projects. Students are also encouraged to form student business clubs to start to run school-based businesses.
- To change teacher pedagogy from traditional teaching practices to student-centred methodologies
- To increase the impact of the entrepreneurship course on entrepreneurial skills and promotion of business activities among students
A countrywide educational reform that introduced a required entrepreneurship course at secondary schools and moved from a knowledge-based curriculum with traditional teaching practices to a competency-based curriculum with an interactive and student-centred approach. The content of national and school-level promotional exams didn’t change dramatically following the reform. It continued to focus on mastery of curricular content, as under the previous curriculum, rather than on demonstrating the acquisition of practical skills.
Teachers without previous experience in entrepreneurship education who are responsible for delivering the new entrepreneurship course.
On top of a light teacher training programme provided by the government, government trainers (trained by Educate! in a ‘train the trainer’ model) provide additional entrepreneurship-specific training to participants. The training programme includes:
- Six multi-day training sessions: Spread evenly over two years, they cover pedagogical strategies for implementing the entrepreneurship curriculum stressing lesson planning, engaging students in classroom discussions, and assisting student business clubs to form and grow. Each round of training culminates in a ‘mock day’ during which teachers rehearse upcoming lessons.
- Feedback meetings: Each term participants visit each other’s schools to observe a colleague teaching an entrepreneurship lesson and engage in a roundtable discussion to share their observations and discuss pedagogical strategies.
- Ongoing support: At least twice a term, teachers receive visits by Educate! staff to support them with the teaching, provide additional advice and address any other concerns.
- The teacher training moved entrepreneurship teaching practices towards more interactive and student-centred techniques. Use of group discussions, research, case studies, debates and role-playing increased by 6 percentage points (from 32 to 38 per cent) and prompted a sixfold increase in scheduled ‘skills labs’.
- The overall active instruction time wasn’t changed, but teachers moved active learning activities from the first half to the second half of the class, as recommended during the training.
- The change in teaching practices didn’t translate into higher entrepreneurship knowledge or better exam scores for students (even in entrepreneurship-specific exams).
- Students’ educational and professional aspirations and non-cognitive skills, including grit and locus of control, were unaffected.
- Students whose teachers were trained were 5 percentage points more likely (from 30 to 35 per cent) to participate in revenue-generating businesses, mainly through student business clubs. However, they were also less likely – to a similar degree – to be in wage-employment, so overall income was unaffected.
- Intensive training and ongoing support can help teachers to obtain the necessary knowledge and skills to adapt to changes in curriculum content and pedagogical approaches deriving from educational reforms.
- However, not aligning promotional exams with the new curriculum and pedagogical approach can hinder both the adherence of teachers to the new curriculum and the educational outcomes of students educated following the new ‘competency-based curriculum’ as opposed to those under the previous ‘knowledge-based curriculum’.