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Final: Rethinking vocational education in the state of massachusetts

Final: Rethinking vocational education in the state of massachusetts



Stanford Venture Lab Team Project Dec 2012

Stanford Venture Lab Team Project Dec 2012



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    Final: Rethinking vocational education in the state of massachusetts Final: Rethinking vocational education in the state of massachusetts Document Transcript

    • Rethinking Vocational Education in the State of Massachusetts:An Entrepreneurship Imperative for the 21st Century.A project submission for the Stanford University course: Re-designing the Learning EnvironmentTeam MembersAntoni Baszczeski (Poland)Sunil Batil (India)Teri Bellamy (Washington, United States)Anthony Gribben (Italy)John Oldham (Massaschusetts, United States)Shakil Ahmed (Bangladesh)
    • 2AcknowledgementsIn undertaking this small project, the team appreciates the cooperation, interest and imputs ofthe following individuals and groups: Pupils of (Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School in Rochester, MA USA) who contributed to the pupil’s survey ensuring an end-user reference to subsequent ideas developed through the project; Young people from Washington (USA) and Poland who so readily made themselves available to share their experience and ideas for improvement of education through the focus groups; Teachers and education officials from Massaschusetts who acted as a sounding board for initial ideas developed through the project; Martin Glassett of Sim Venture (UK) for exchange on issues and options for educational technology proposals to be included in the project; Pamela Stanford of Stanford University’s Venture Labs initiative for guidance and support for the various modules and to Azim Pradham for interest in the entrepreneurship education project; Abby Oldham for supporting the team with graphics and the finalisation of the the project document.
    • 3The Project TeamTeam LeaderAnthony Gribben: ‘what’s wrong with our education systems?’ItalyTony Gribben has been a policy analyst on education and entrepreneurship for over 10 yearswith most of his work undertaken in transition and emerging economies. He has also taughtchild development and entrepreneurship to undergraduates in Belgium, Italy and Syria. Heconsiders himself neither a policy specialist nor a teacher but as an advocate for change, askingdifficult questions of different parts of society why more cannot be done to make learning moremeaningful and relevant to the our fast-changing world.Team MembersAntoni Baszczeski: knowledge and values critical to an educational revolution.PolandAntoni Baszczeski has over 30 years of management experience in education, horticulture, tradeand industrial production; and the last 16 years working for FMCG organization – managementand financial accounting, planning, financial control, audit, organization change, procurement,integration, restructuring in Poland and abroad. His educational background is engineering(horticulture), business management, economics and finance. He earned an MSc in Horticulture(EMBA University of Illinois) and an MSc in Management and ACCA (UK). He is an entrepreneurand lifelong learner, looking for inspiration to give something back to society where he considershis knowledge, experience and values critical to an educational revolution.Sunil Batil: an education entrepreneurIndiaSunil Batil has over 20 years of experience in education, research, marketing and productmanagement. He is currently working on a startup: a platform that allows users to engage andinteract with the best online courses to fulfill their learning objective. An onlinerecommendation engine would guide learners on where to go based on what they wanted tolearn, how quickly, for what purpose, for how much money, etc. Ratings and recommendationswill be provided by past students. The platform allows course providers the broadest possibleexposure for their offer.
    • 4c) Teri Bellamy: a concerned parent and…..Washington, USATeri Bellamy is an experienced finance executive with a broad foundation in small for profit andnot for profit organizations. Her current role as a consulting CFO consists of advising clients onstrategy related to growth, cash management and overall financial infrastructure. Teri has astrong background in federal and state income tax, accounting, and financial management. Herfinance and accounting training originate in Big Four and large local firm experience. Teri holdsan adjunct faculty position at Bainbridge Graduate Institute, teaching accounting and finance tochange agents. Teri is a CPA and holds a bachelor’s degree from Linfield College.John Oldham: a change agent in education.Massachusetts, USAJohn Oldham is a teacher of entrepreneurship at a vocational school in Massachusetts (USA). Hisparticular interest is in bringing reform and innovation into the learning environment and toengage fellow teachers both in Massachusetts and beyond into a more coordinatedimprovement drive for entrepreneurship promotion in high school education. Commenting onthe Venture Labs course, John said, ‘I wanted to be part of the team that brings a fresh newapproach and new ideas that reflect the changes taking place in the global economy. In short, Iwant to help young people meet the challenges that previous generations have not faced.Shakil Ahmed: promoting critical thinking.BangladeshShakil teaches critical thinking to undergraduate students and is working as a researcher at theInstitute of Educational Development, BRAC University, Bangladesh where he is primarilyinvolved in designing a secondary school from scratch with an emphasis on the quality ofeducation. His experience also includes leading an expedition of entrepreneurial students to theMiddle East, working as a scientific journalist and being part of a team that organized the firststudent conference on the clean energy industry in Singapore.
    • 5Table of contentsExecutive summary 1. Introduction………………………………………………………………………...........7 2. Aims and objectives…………………………………………………………………....8 3. What is entrepreneurship education?............................................8 4. Socio-economic context………………………………………………………………8 5. Determining relevance: focus on young people’s interests………... 9 6. The vocational education eco-system in Massachusetts…………….11 7. Rethinking entrepreneurship in vocational education………………..13 8. Young people’s access to finance: road blocks and solutions …….19 9. Leveraging impact for other education environments………………..20 10. Conclusions and next steps…………………………………………………………21AnnexesReading and Bibliography
    • 6Executive SummaryDebt, deficits, and declining employment have been dominating the economic headlines since2008. The impact on young people has been particularly stark with an increasing focus on therole of education and training in the wider bid for growth and jobs. This project focusesparticularly on vocational education in Massachusetts (USA) where youth unemployment standsat 20 percent. The objective of the project is to raise awareness and understanding, andultimately to contribute to dialogue and debate amongst the range of stakeholders inMassachusetts, of the challenges and opportunities for an improved vocational education driveand where entrepreneurship is an embedded feature of the curriculum.1Firstly, the paper proposes a number of improvements to the vocational education eco-system.These are considered a pre-condition to a more developed and sustainable solution to improvingthe labour market prospects of vocational school leavers. In particular, the paper advocatesmore developed cooperation and direct engagement of the business community into theteaching and learning drive. More structured cooperation is proposed between vocationalschools and a) the small business support environment and b) the wider careers andemployment support environment to maximise entrepreneurship promotion both within theschool setting as well as follow-up potential for school leavers intent on self-employment orbusiness start-up. A case is also made for an awareness raising and engagement initiative forparents as an essential stakeholder group in the vocational education eco-system. Further, thepaper recommends that the Massachusetts vocational education stakeholders (Department ofEducation, vocational schools and local businesses) immediately engage with an evolvingeducational technology community in Massachusetts to determine options and opportunities formore systemic promotion of learning technologies in vocational education.Secondly, a number of improvements to the existing Massachusetts vocational curriculum areproposed with specific reference to promoting a more entrepreneurial mindset amongst youngpeople. The proposals include requirements for a more open teaching and learning paradigmwhere the pupils’ learning outcomes are the driver for more innovative pedagogy; and whereaffordable learning technologies are key to more enhanced learning environment.More specifically, three clearly defined entrepreneurship pillars are proposed: a) businessknowledge: local (including regulatory environment), national, global economy, social andenvironmental responsibility) and business-community relations; b) business skills: businessstart-up, core skills (e.g. finance) and business operations; and) c) entrepreneurship keycompetences: people skills, self-management and development skills and mindset development.While the paper concentrates primarily on the vocational education system in Massachusetts,issues and implications for other learning environments in developed and transition economiesare also considered.The paper concludes with a number of concrete, next-step recommendations to bring forwardthe proposals outlined in the paper.1 While the project involved some empirical data collection, the project team is keen to emphasize that this final submission for the Venture Labs course does not constitute a scientific paper. Rather, the project should be considered as the starting point for discussion and exchange between a range of stakeholders concerned with developing systemic solutions for more effective design and delivery of vocational education in Massachusetts and where proposals for a revised teaching and learning paradigm involving technology applications make for a richer, more engaging environment for vocational students.
    • 71. IntroductionSet against a global economic turn down, young people face increasing uncertainty as they movefrom formal schooling to the labour market. The spectre of youth unemployment and the socio-economic ramifications for young people, their communities, and local and national economiesis generating a scramble for solutions. While policy makers and business turn to education intheir quest for solutions, the potential for more strategic promotion of entrepreneurshipeducation stands apart as critical opportunity. Unlike other areas of public policy where progressis frustrated by political ideology, the entrepreneurship education presents a politicalopportunity in that it uniquely satisfies both a social agenda (employment and inclusion - drivenby necessity entrepreneurship) and a market agenda (competitiveness – driven by opportunityentrepreneurship).A review of literature covering entrepreneurship education underlines how emphasis isparticularly focused on third-level education (Pittaway & Cope, 2007; Mwasalwiba, 2010).Nonetheless, a strategic review of entrepreneurship education by the World Economic Forumand recommendations to apply globally go wider and include early education but fail, to addressvocational education (WEF, 2009). Aware of this policy blind spot, this project specificallyaddresses the vocational education system in Massachusetts in the United States while allowingfor learning value for other education environments in the USA, and beyond.The project sets out to determine how existing efforts to promote entrepreneurship for 16-19year old vocational students can be enhanced. It takes as its starting point the entrepreneurshipeco-system, in particular how vocational education interfaces with the wider range of actorsengaged in the economic, employment and enterprise development drive in Massachusetts. Thecritical issue is that all partners in the eco-system work in partnership to maximise theentrepreneurship potential of Massachusetts’s people and economy. This includes exploringhow the banking sector could a) directly cooperate with vocational schools in terms of buildingknowledge and capacity of young people in financial and loan management, and b) to developfinancing instruments and arrangements specifically suited to the circumstances of buddingentrepreneurs.Secondly, the project reviews ‘Strand 5’ - the existing entrepreneurship curriculum - andproposes a number of concrete ways the curriculum could be enhanced to meet the demands ofa changing economy. In particular, and by way of example, the project concentrates on one pillarof the entrepreneurship education drive (start-ups) and proposes ways and means to improvestudent engagement and ownership of the learning process as a pre-condition for overalleffectiveness of public investment in vocational education. With increasing availability of genericinformation and communication technologies, and the opportunity that these technologies canbring to the teaching and learning process, the project team makes a number of concreterecommendations for low-cost (and potentially) high-impact technology applications forvocational education.An important argument in the paper is that entrepreneurship promotion should go beyond thetraditional understanding of entrepreneurship as a business-specific phenomenon to includeentrepreneurship as a ‘key competence’. The key competence comprises a collection ofinterpersonal, cognitive and attitudinal traits which develop the potential of the individual’sentrepreneurial contribution to the economy as an employee (intrapreneur) as well as buildingthe entrepreneurship mindset requirements for those starting and growing a business. The
    • 8entrepreneurship key competence calls for a rethink of the learning environment and inparticular of the teaching and learning process.The paper closes with next steps to bring forward the proposals for eco-system building and theroad-testing of the curriculum reform recommendations, including the use of learningtechnologies, as a driver of innovation in entrepreneurship education.2. Aim and ObjectivesFaced with rising concerns about youth unemployment, the aim of this project is to formulate asystemic response by the vocational education community in Massachusetts as a pre-conditionfor sustainable employment of its young people and a more developed entrepreneurial economy.More specifically, and by way of example for other education systems, the objectives are: a) to advocate entrepreneurship promotion in vocational education in the State of Massachusetts with particular reference to the education eco-system; and b) to recommend how technology applications could enhance the teaching and learning process, as a pre-condition for employability of young people in Massachusetts and a more developed entrepreneurial economy.3. What is Entrepreneurship Education?Interestingly, despite increasing interest by policy makers, practitioners and academia, no hard-and-fast definition of entrepreneurship education exists. Commentators point to a plethora ofterminology and divergent definitions (Garavan & O’Cinnede, 1994) underlining the comparativenewness and evolving nature of entrepreneurship education. For the purposes of this project,the following definition of entrepreneurship captures a number of critical factors which allow fora better understanding of how and why the education system has an important contribution tomake to a community’s entrepreneurship drive: Entrepreneurship refers to an individual’s ability to turn ideas into action. It covers creativity, innovation and risk taking, and the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives. This supports everyone in day-to-day life at home and in society, makes employees more aware of the context of their work and better able to seize opportunities, and provides a foundation for entrepreneurs setting up social or commercial activities. (European Commission, 2009).4. Socio-Economic ContextThis section briefly reviews the socio-economic context to the project.Firstly, a review of US and EU unemployment data (both areas addressed in the project)underlines a growing convergence in terms of joblessness with young people under 25 yearsparticularly hard hit (20% in the EU and 19% in the US). The data also demonstrate that at 10%,the share of youth joblessness in the US as a function of total unemployment, eclipses EU figuresof 9% (Kiiver & Hijman, 2010). Most recent unemployment data for US teenagers are more grimwith 23.5% out of work (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012). Massachusetts-specific data pointto some 14% of under 25 year-olds out of work (Massachusetts Budget & Policy Center, 2012).
    • 9Secondly, the issue is not only one of economic crisis. The global economy is playing its hand inthe employment concerns with estimates that up to 29% of all US jobs within the next decadebeing potentially ‘offshoreable’ (Blinder, 2007). Local solutions therefore need to be found to fillan employment gap consequent to production and services shifting overseas.Finally, technology advances are rapidly replacing labour once performed manually and opens athird pillar of threat to employment for upcoming generations (Brynjolfsson & McAfee, 2012).All three issues prompt strategic reflection as to how young people are prepared for a changingemployment scenario. More developed entrepreneurship promotion through education is onepart of the solution.5. Determining Relevance: Focusing on Young People’s InterestsTo ensure relevance of the project to young people in particular, the project team undertooktwo consultation initiatives to determine interest and concerns of youth in more strategicdevelopments in entrepreneurship education.Firstly, in Massachusetts, a school-based electronic survey (www.polleverywhere.com) wasadministered targeting 16-19 years olds (See Annex 1). A total of 40 young people responded toa number of questions elaborated by the project team and customised to the local environmentby a teacher who was part of the project team. The survey was administered by the teacher.Pupils received and responded to the survey on their mobile telephones. Results wereimmediately available and visible to both the teacher and students. The survey generated highinterest from students underlining the value of consultation and the survey method with theyoung people on the entrepreneurship theme.The key findings of the survey were as follows: a) the majority of the student’s surveyed felt that they would benefit from more education related to starting their own business (see Figure 1) and, in particular, from additional teaching of entrepreneurship as part of the vocational curriculum. Figure 1. Student interest in entrepreneurship education.
    • 10 A further concern for students’ was access to finance: they felt that the major impediment keeping them from starting a business was the issue of acquiring the necessary funds to begin their venture. Figure 2. Barriers to business start-upb) while nearly 7 out of 10 young people worried about finding a job upon graduation, one-third felt confident about finding work on completion of their vocational studies (see Figure 3). This data approximates the actual employment statistics in Massachusetts where over 23% of young people are out of work (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012). Interestingly, in terms of future job security, some 72% of respondents considered owning ones own business as the key determinant of sustainable employment. Figure 3. Concerns about employment after finishing schoolSecondly, two young people’s focus groups were established (one in Poland and one inWashington, USA) to determine young people’s understanding of entrepreneurship, thechallenges to youth entrepreneurship and the role and contribution of education in promoting amore entrepreneurial society. Each focus group was administered by a member of the projectteam and comprised 8 young people (average age 19 years and 6 months). Questions used togather information are listed at Annex 2 along with a summary of the overall results.
    • 11
    • 12The findings underline how young people’s understanding of entrepreneurship across bothconstituencies were similar and involving a mix market interest (money-making), andpsychological and behavioural traits (e.g. resilience, creativity, risk-taking). Barriers toentrepreneurship highlighted by young people again were similar across both groups. These arecategorized as internal barriers (e.g. self efficacy, fear of failure, lack of practical experience andskills e.g. finance management) and external barriers (e.g. poor access to finance, weakcontribution of formal education and negative societal attitudes to youth entrepreneurship).Overall, the results from the Massachusetts survey and the Washington and Poland focus groupsunderline the interest of young people in a more developed entrepreneurship promotion drivein education.6. The Vocational Education Eco-System in MassachusettsAn effective vocational education system, ‘fit for purpose’ in an economy which is constantlychanging as result of technology advances, more open global markets or responding to crisis,requires a more developed cooperation framework between all partners co-workingdevelopments against a set of common objectives: growth and jobs. Building a comprehensive,cooperation framework for its vocational education system (and broader learning environment)will be important for Massachusetts as it grapples with the challenges of a dragging economyand unemployment.A mapping of existing and potential partners for vocational education with a view to a morestrategic promotion of entrepreneurship is available in Diagram 1. The range of institutions andinterest bodies underlines the complex environment for a 21st century vocational school butwhere cooperation and exchange provide opportunities not only for the vocational schoolcommunity to deliver on its mandate, but to additionally allow for leveraging innovation into theschooling system through networking, expertise sharing and good practice exchange which anwell developed eco-system can offer.This project has only been able to draw up a mapping of key stakeholders many of which haveno functional relationship at this point with vocational schools. A proposal is to build anetworked eco-system, possibly supported by a web-based platform with two functions. Firstly,to ensure that all partners are engaged and updated on all developments in vocationaleducation, including a common area for co-working innovative projects. Secondly, to provide anoutlet where vocational schools can post requests for support (e.g. call for mentors for specificprojects) but additionally where the schools can highlight good practice and share expertise andknow-how both within Massachusetts, and beyond.Next, the project team considers an evolving and visible community of education technologycompanies in Massachusetts as an opportunity for next-step developments in entrepreneurshipeducation. By directly engaging with the companies individually or collectively as an association2,vocational schools can ensure that their curriculum and learning development needs forentrepreneurship education are known and understood by the education technology community.This in turn may allow for technology ideas and solutions to be put forward for integration intothe school environment.2 See more information on the Boston education technology incubator. https://www.edsurge.com/n/2012-12-11-learnlaunch-east-coast-education-technology-incubator
    • 13 Diagram 1 A proposal for a 21st Century Massachuse s Entrepreneurship Educa on Eco-System MAVA University of Massachuse s Workforce Crea ng a win-win Center for Investment scenario: engaging Business Board with a growing Research community of educa on technology experts and businesses Start-up Local Chamber Massachuse s of Commerce VT Schools Small Business Massachuse s Administra on Development From STEM to STEEM: Engaging with the Massachuse s Massachuse s New Bedford Governor’s STEM Small Business Economic Development Development Advisory Council Center CouncilFinally, an effective vocational education eco-system requires commitment by all keystakeholders (public and private) and importantly a clearly defined leader institution. In thisregard, the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators (MAVA) could be consideredas a potential organisation to bring forward more strategic cooperation for entrepreneurshippromotion in vocational education. Structured linkages with stakeholders responsible for widereducation issues (STEM developments), employment and business support services, theeducation technology community and the business world will be critical. Ensuring a betterinterface between schools and the banking sector, specifically to look at options for improvingyoung people’s access to start-up finance, could also be considered set against the findings fromthe survey and focus groups referred to above. The issue of access to finance is returned to atSection 8.
    • 147. Rethinking Entrepreneurship in Vocational EducationEntrepreneurship promotion in vocational schooling in Massachusetts is presently governed by‘Standardized Strand 5’ of the Vocational Technical Education Framework, entitled ‘Managementand Entrepreneurship’ (see Annex 3.) The curriculum framework has been in force since August2007. ‘Strand 5’ provides a good basis for entrepreneurship promotion addressing primarilyknowledge and skills in business administration as well as the regulatory framework forbusinesses (e.g. federal and state requirements on workers’ rights). Other important features ofthe existing curriculum include issues such as business-community relations and business ethics.A number of improvements to ‘Strand 5’ are proposed here in the bid to maximise theemployment potential of Massachusetts’ vocational students and their contribution to a moreentrepreneurial economy.Entrepreneurship as a key competenceMissing in the present curriculum framework is the notion of entrepreneurship as a keycompetence – the contribution of education to developing the entrepreneurship mindset whichcomprises the inter-personal and self-development skills that businesses and the wider economyrequire to ensure improved performance in an increasingly competitive business environment.While the team recognises that the concept of the entrepreneurship key competence is new,and still very much undeveloped, the issue for Massachusetts is a) whether it waits for tried-and-tested good practice to be made available and against which curriculum, teaching andassessment arrangements could be borrowed; or b) that it seizes the opportunity to develop theentrepreneurship key competence areas itself; and ultimately provide leadership and guidanceon this area of entrepreneurship education for other states both within the USA, and beyond.Assuming that the education authorities in Massachusetts, acting alone or in partnership withother stakeholders, decide to bring forward more strategic developments in entrepreneurshipeducation, the team has pre-identified a number of areas considered important for inclusionwithin an entrepreneurship key competence framework (see below). The reform anddevelopment effort would work towards creative solutions where Massachusetts schoolspromote the cognitive, behavioural and social traits associated with entrepreneur. This wouldinvolve specialised teams (curriculum specialists, teachers and other pedagogic experts,education technology specialists as well as direct engagement and contribution of small andmedium-sized businesses) working on curriculum, teaching and learning processes as well asassessment arrangements.The recommendation here is that the Massachusetts Department of Education, with the supportof the Massachusetts Association for Vocational Education Administrators, create a partnershipwith the business community, teachers and young entrepreneurs associations (and possibly theeducation technology community) and agree to establish an action plan for the strategic pilotingof entrepreneurship as a key competence. The piloting would involve a sub-set of Massachusettsvocational schools. Given that the entrepreneurship key competence is not vocational-specific,pilot efforts could also engage general secondary schools. Supported by a dedicatedentrepreneurship education task force for vocational education, the objective of a strategic pilotshould be as follows:
    • 15 Factors making up the entrepreneurship key competence Learning Outcome Teaching and Learning Assessment Learning technology Processes arrangements Ability to assess and Case studies Self-assessment, teacher Business game (e.g. manage risk Business simulation games assessment, peer Simventure) assessment Ability to work in a team Case studies, individual portfolio, Teacher assessment, peer Virtual project management business simulation assessment, assessment by environment (e.g. Asana) community/business partner of school Demonstrates leadership Case studies, group work, guest Peer assessment, self Young entrepreneurs leaders skills speakers assessment, teacher sharing their enterprise story Role modelling, role play assessment (local young entrepreneurs stories available on U tube ) Table 1. Examples of learning outcomes which could support the entrepreneurship key competence to develop and agree on a set of learning outcomes for the entrepreneurship key competence; for each learning outcome, clearly articulate a set of guidelines, with examples of good practice developed through the piloting drive, to ensure that the teaching and learning processes effectively deliver on the pre-defined learning outcomes; for each of the learning outcomes articulate formal assessment modalities. If the key competence developments are to be integrated eventually into the Massachusetts curriculum they will need to be subject to formal assessment. Only when formal assessment in the learning environment is required by the school or examining authority will scale in key competence promotion be assured; draw on existing education technologies to support the teaching, learning and assessment processes.While the teaching, learning and assessment processes to evolve from the pilot project could beenhanced through technology applications, the administration, execution and management ofthe pilot project could additionally engage technologies to support the system-building process.Consideration could be given, inter alia, to: a virtual project management environment (e.g. Asana) to ensure efficiency in planning and delivery schedules for range of measures (e.g. teacher training) foreseen within the pilot operation; facebook or similar networking applications to maximise the value of exchange between school leaders, teachers, curriculum specialists, students and the education administration in the execution of the project; technology-supported monitoring and evaluation of participant stakeholders in the pilot (e.g. Pollweverywhere, Surveymonkey) to ensure changing interests and needs are addressed; borrowing on SMILE (Stanford Mobile Inquiry based Learning) allow for student-specific technology applications to generate critical reflection and direct inputs to an evolving curriculum; and in so doing, empower students for a 21st century learning environment where ownership of an student-centred curriculum maximises commitment to learning.
    • 16Finally, how the learning outcomes for entrepreneurship education at vocational levelinterface with those from earlier and later levels of the education system should be consideredwith an objective of establishing a lifelong entrepreneurial learning framework forMassachusetts. The objective should be to create a sequence of entrepreneurship promotion upthough the education system as a pre-condition for an entrepreneurial society.Again, there are no existing lifelong entrepreneurial learning models to borrow on. However,assuming a Massachusetts partnership arrangement were to take this proposal on board,separate task forces could be established for elementary, middle and high school, communitycollege and university education. Their task should be to broadly follow the same pilotingarrangements as advocated for vocational education but where the overall result would be: a) a Massachusetts taxonomy for entrepreneurship education following Bloom’s (1956) incremental learning stages; b) an approved, Massachusetts lifelong entrepreneurship education curriculum and assessment framework; and c) a ‘joined-up’ entrepreneurship education framework (all schools, colleges and universities3) starting in early education and progressively promoted in subsequent education levels.Business knowledgeThe ‘Strand 5’ curriculum and learning environment could be upgraded to ensure young people’sawareness and understanding of business in its socio-economic context at municipal, state andnational levels. This should also include preparing young people to appreciate how localbusinesses are impacted by globalisation and the challenges and opportunities this bringsparticularly to more ambitious small businesses operating in a global trading system.Further development lines for the ‘Strand 5’ curriculum could additionally address business-community relations, social responsibility and environmental accountability reflecting currentconcerns for more transparency, ethics and accountability of businesses.Learning outcomes, and teaching and learning processes to ensure that the learning outcomesare achieved, will need to be defined for the business knowledge pillar of the revised curriculum.This should include options for including technology applications and where specificconsiderations could be given to student-centred, student-directed learning in line with theproposals outlined for the entrepreneurship key competence.Business skills‘Strand 5’ curriculum should continue to build young people’s capacity to eventually movetowards self-employment or business start-up. A critical issue here in how the businessenvironment interfaces with the school environment to ensure more effective learningoutcomes for young people as they join the labour market and for businesses seeking skilledworkers. An international study on workforce preparation finds that in most countries educationand businesses work in parallel universes (Mourshad, Farell & Barton, 2012). The worlds ofbusiness and education must partner up to ensure mutual interests are met. The starting pointfor business is to co-work and validate a set of learning outcomes which the schools and youngpeople need to deliver on.3 Given the autonomy of third-level education institutions, a separate dialogue, consultation and development framework may need to be considered.
    • 17
    • 18The proposal here is to reinforce those learning outcomes already identified in ‘Strand 5’ but togive specific consideration to: a) how the teaching processes could be improved and where the role of the teacher evolves towards one of mentor and coach as young people take more responsibility for the learning process; b) mainstream readily available, low-cost technologies into the teaching, learning and assessment processes associated with the course c) maximise the potential of the wider entrepreneurship eco-system by ensuring that this feature of the curriculum is co-worked with the local business environment.By way of example, Table 2 provides examples of how more specific learning outcomes for thebusiness skills pillar of the entrepreneurship curriculum and learning support environment couldbe reinforced. Note that this listing is not exhaustive and the examples would need to beadapted to the specific circumstances and resources of the vocational school network.Ensuring entrepreneurship education interfaces with wider vocational curriculumThe proposals put forward for more strategic development of entrepreneurship education in thispaper should be considered as an integral part of the overall vocational education curriculumwhich include development of occupational or trade skills for the range of professions coveredby the 80 vocational schools in Massachusetts. More specifically, while the entrepreneurship keycompetence pillar has a dedicated pillar in the curriculum framework (see Diagram 2), as a keycompetence, it will need to be promoted transversally across the curriculum – all students, allclasses and all teachers involved.Secondly, with increasing policy interest in developing young people’s interest in science andtechnology in Massachusetts through more concerted STEM (science, technology, engineeringand mathematics) developments,4 the proposal here is to include entrepreneurship as a fifthpriority area for Massachusetts education. Integrating entrepreneurship with STEM will providea more comprehensive basis to generate innovation and market potential through education.4 More information on the Massachusetts Governor’s STEM Advisory Council: www.stemconnector.org/state-by-state/massachusetts
    • 19 Business Skills Core Learning Teaching and Assessment Learning Areas Outcomes Learning Processes Arrangements Technologies Starting a new business a) Lectures, tutorial a) Self-assessment, b) a) Social media: Ability to research, draft, b) Self-directed exploratory teacher assessment Facebook networking of revise and complete a research c) peer assessment vocational schools business plan c) Multi-school environment (multi-school b) Business game (e.g. Ability to effectively explain and feedback loop; environment) Simventure)5 key business concepts (e.g. d) Site visits to small d) Assessment by school c) Business speakers profit, loss, production, business support services business partner mentor ‘skyped’ into school- Start-up quality assurance etc.) e) Invited speakers from network based learning Understanding of role of entrepreneurship eco- environments range of start-up support system d) web-based research services operating in facilities (e.g. google) entrepreneurship eco-system Ability to determine most effective solution for start-up finance Sales & Marketing a) Teacher assessment, a) Virtual project Understanding core concepts a) Lectures, tutorials, b) Fellow-pupii peer management of marketing and sales roundtables assessment, environment for grup Appreciation for local nature b) case studies of successful c) Assessment by and multi-school of marketing and appropriate marketing plans (including business partner of projects (e.g. Asana) measures to operate use of social media) school b) Facebook networking effectively in local economy. c) Self-directed market d) Assessment by on group/multi school research internship supervisor projects Essential Business Skills Ability to develop a marketing communications plan d) individual portfolios b) Business game (e.g. Ability to construct written e) Group projects: multi- Simventurc) sales school environment; c) Business speakers Ability to collect, process, and f) Site visits to small ‘skyped’ into school- analyze market/consumer business support services based learning data to make informed g) Invited speakers from environments marketing decisions entrepreneurship eco- d) Skype follow support Ability to analyze marketing system for interns by business problems and provide h) business simulation supervisor on solutions based on a critical i) Internship completion of examination of marketing internship information. e) web-based research Ability to apply knowledge facilities (e.g. google) and skills within real-world experiences in an internship. Demonstrates leadership skills a) Case studies, a) Peer assessment, a) Young entrepreneurs b) Team projects, b) Self assessment, leaders sharing their Business Operations Ability to draw up and maintain a business inventory c) Guest speakers c) Teacher assessment enterprise story (local Ability plan, schedule and c) Simulation and role play c) Assessment by young entrepreneurs revise business world stories available on U tube ) b) use of office technologies for business administration (e.g. spreadsheet) Table 2. Business skills: examples of learning outcomes and teaching, learning and assessment proposals, including technology applications5 http://www.simventure.co.uk/
    • 208. Young People’s Access to Finance: Road Blocks and SolutionsA recurrent theme through this paper is the need for all those with an interest in education,employment, enterprise and entrepreneurship to sign up to more structured cooperation andpartnership arrangements (the eco-system). A particular gap in the existing institutional supportframework for education and youth entrepreneurship is how the banking associations and otheractors providing finance to young entrepreneurs formally connect into the education system.The findings of the school-based survey in Massachusetts, as well as the outcomes of the focusgroups in Washington and Poland referred to earlier, clearly point to the concerns of youngpeople on access to finance which is a significant roadblock to developing youthentrepreneurship. The assumption is that such barriers already create the ‘can’t do’ mindset.First and foremost, legislation works against young people entering into contracts with minors.Young entrepreneurs under the age of 18 will need to have parental guarantees on loans withbanks and other institutions. Although this roadblock exists, there is still support for youngentrepreneurs. The United States Government’s Small Business Administration website has anentire section dedicated to teen entrepreneurs. It provides resources for necessarydocumentation to start a business and financing approaches. What is missing is hard data todemonstrate the availability of public and private financing support for young people’s start-upsset against demand. More specifically, the question is should individual schools providingentrepreneurship education be more engaged with the banking and other financingintermediaries to ensure that worthy business plans and young people’s motivation to moveforward with an entrepreneurship career are effectively followed up on completion of theirformal education system?Lessons could be learnt from one bank’s efforts to connect in with the education system. InGermany, a public bank (L-Bank) in the region of Baden Würrtenburg provides micro-finance toschool-going entrepreneurs.6 What is innovative here is how the school, the bank and the youngperson work together on a financing agreement, which forms an integral part of theentrepreneurship learning process.Other barriers to funding include the lack of experience youth have with money managementand business experience. Strong active mentorship in this area to young people directly withinthe curriculum (on-site and/or remote access by way of Skype, for example) as well as systemicsupport to the education system by way of an active advisory board and fiduciary board will givecredibility here. The critical issue is that banking and other financial operators for micro andstart-up finance should be integrated into the curriculum and learning process.The private sector is becoming more creative with financing instruments. For example, revenuebased financing is a combination loan/equity instrument with a buy back clause based on apercentage of top line revenue. The investor receives a small amount of equity, which areredeemed by the company at 2-3x the original investment. The pay back amount is calculated asa percentage of top-line revenue. The term of the lending instrument (pay back calendar) isusually quite long. Could such creative and responsible approaches to banking services befurther customized to accommodate the young entrepreneur?6 www.l-bank.de/lbank/inhalt/meta/presse/presseinformationen/detail.xml?ceid=100147&id=1621&dyn=true
    • 21Additional funding options, such as crowd funding and friend and family loans, could also beutilized by young entrepreneurs. The challenge is the extent to which the entrepreneurshipeducation framework should directly engage in promoting access to finance. Should schoolswork with informal lenders (families and friends) to support a ‘loan learning’ process? Withmany schools already delivering on an overloaded curriculum, one solution is that the bankingsector, as a key stakeholder in the wider entrepreneurship eco-system, takes responsibility forbringing forward this area, in partnership with schools.A first step in the case of Massachusetts would be to open a structured dialogue between theeducation system and banking associations to look at access to finance options, including howthe banking sector directly contributes to areas of the curriculum (e.g. financial literacy, skills forloan requests, negotiation and management etc.). Other key partner institutions (e.g. the staterepresentation of Small Business Administration, Startup Massachusetts, the Governor’s STEMAdvisory Council) in the entrepreneurship eco-system could facilitate the dialogue ensuring theirbetter integration into the entrepreneurship education eco-system.9. Leveraging Impact for Other Education EnvironmentsAn advantage running through the project development phase was the opportunity to cross-refer to other education environments both inside the United States and other countriesrepresented on the team. What was particularly clear in the exchanges was that in all countriesthe entrepreneurship education agenda needs a radical rethink set against a number ofweaknesses common to all countries: a weak education-economy cooperation culture; education system still not responding sufficiently to economic crisis; entrepreneurship promotion confined to a market model with limited curriculum; poor public image of vocational education; limited resources to ensure improvements to vocational curriculum.While the project and recommendations focused specifically on Massachusetts, three issuesparticularly stand out for consideration by other countries: a) the need for eco-system building: financial support, training and technical assistance in the eco-system developments would be important for countries where capacities of public institutions is weak; b) entrepreneurship key competence: given the relative newness of the concept of the entrepreneurship key competence, less developed economies stood to gain by cooperating with education environments in advanced economies which were already working on the policy and institutional arrangements, including curriculum innovation and teacher developments;
    • 22 c) drawing on available, low-cost technologies: a critical issue when considering options for improving Massachusetts entrepreneurship education environment was to identify low- cost and (potential) high-impact technologies which were already publicly available to support a learning environment. The proposals for reinforcing ICT applications in the Massachusetts vocational learning environment were specifically modest set against broader concerns of public budgets. However, the team’s view is that modesty (efficiency) and effectiveness can work well together. In this regard, with information and communications’ technologies increasingly available in less developed economies, the proposals elaborated for Massachusetts could equally be considered for developing and transition economies.Finally, on the assumption that a) this project paper will be brought to the attention of educationdecision-makers in Massachusetts; b) that there is a positive policy response there involving thewider stakeholder community, and c) support (financial and political) is made available to bringforward strategy building on entrepreneurship education (all parts of the education system),other countries keen to move forward with their own developments could be associated to theMassachusetts developments. The international donor community (e.g. USAID) could facilitatethis process.10. Conclusions and Next StepsThe leitmotif for this small project has been one single word: opportunity.In coming together as a virtual team we were all convinced that entrepreneurship educationrepresented an opportunity for communities world wide, no matter their level of development,to promote socio-economic development, stability and prosperity. With governments, thebusiness world and civic interest groups scrambling to find to solutions to economic malaise andcritical unemployment, particularly for young people, this project – the questions it asks, theissues it raises and the recommendations it makes - should be seen as catalytic. Our intentionwas to use the opportunity through the Venture Labs course to put a number of ideas togetherthat could prompt strategic reflection and dialogue on how education can play a more strategicrole in economic turn around and the rebuilding of sustainable and inclusive economies.Through our ‘skype’ discussions and wider exchanges through the project management area, wealso saw political opportunity through the project. Unlike other areas of public policy whereprogress is frustrated by political ideology, the entrepreneurship education presents a politicalopportunity in that it uniquely satisfies both a social agenda (employment and inclusion) and amarket agenda (competitiveness and growth). The question is how important it is for differentparts of society (economic, political, civic) to take a bold and ambitious decision to move forwardwith building learning systems where entrepreneurship education is an embedded feature of theteaching and learning process?While the thrust of the paper has centred particularly on Massachusetts, the issues raised andrecommendations put forward have equal relevance to other education environments:partnership, commitment, piloting, reviewing and mainstreaming.
    • 23We close this project with two recommendations, which assuming if followed, could be onebuilding block towards a more competitive and inclusive economy in Massachusetts and wherethe economic and employment potential of its young people is a driver for education reform.Both recommendations are geared towards improving the eco-system for entrepreneurshipeducation: a) a cross-stakeholder group should consider this paper as a basis for opening strategic dialogue on how entrepreneurship education could be more systematically promoted in Massachusetts. This dialogue should be led by the education authorities; b) until a strategic framework is in place for systematic promotion of entrepreneurship in vocational education, the Massachusetts Association for Vocational Administrators should consider options for improving ‘Strand 5’ curriculum and where the arguments and ideas shared in this paper could be a starting point for discussion.
    • 24Annex 1.Questionnaire for Massachusetts Vocational Education Pupils 1. As part of my preparation (education), I wish that I had been able to take more courses related to starting my own business. 2. Do you think teaching entrepreneurship should be part of the vocational curriculum? 3. What would prevent you from starting you own business? 4. I worry about not having a good job when I leave school. 5. Do you feel that your education has prepared to start your own business? 6. Do you think there is more job security owning your own business or working for someone else? Student Survey Results in MassachusettsSummary:This poll utilized mobile technology in the classroom in real-time in which students weregiven a series of questions and responded through their mobile phones with their answers.Results were immediately available and visible to both the instructor and students.The results of this survey suggest that students have a strong interest in taking part incoursework that would provide them with a more robust business background and a focuson the knowledge, skills and key competencies that would provide further opportunities forentrepreneurship. Results also suggest the high level of anxiety our youth have today as theyapproach the job market. Recent figures in the State of Massachusetts suggest that 1 out of 7young people aged 16-24 are unemployed.
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    • 27Annex 2.Guideline Questions for the Focus Group and Synthesis of IssuesRaisedFocus Group QuestionsObjectiveThe objective of the focus group is to determine young people’s understanding ofentrepreneurship, the challenges to youth entrepreneurship and the role and contribution ofeducation in promoting a more entrepreneurial society.QuestionsThe following questions will help with the focus group. They may be adapted to reflect localinstitutional, cultural and youth mores. a) What does entrepreneurship mean for you? b) What barriers exist for young people who may be considering entrepreneurship as a career choice? c) How does your school support entrepreneurship career planning? d) Provide two recommendations as to how the education system could improve its contribution to a more entrepreneurial society.The following is a synthesis of the key issues from the focus groups.The Definition of Entrepreneurship: Poland Washington State – The ability to work in a team in order to – Doing your own thing, chasing your own execute positive changes ideas – An attitude of making money – The ability to make a lot of money – Having character traits of creativity, ingenuity, – Creating jobs through innovation and new courage, perseverance and determination businesses – The ability to take risks – The ability to take high risks for high rewards The definition of entrepreneurship varied from purely money making (including illegally), to the very complex. This consisted of competencies in the area of attitude, knowledge and skills.
    • 28Barriers to Entrepreneurship:The following opinions were shared by both regions. Internal : – lack of self-confidence – lack of motivation – lack of critical thinking skills – fear of failure – passivity – lack of experience with fundraising and managing money – lack of credibility among adults that would fund the venture, due to the young age of entrepreneur External : – education o schools are providing exam preparation courses today and kill kids/students creativity and desire to innovate o entrepreneurship is not taught nor promoted in schools o there is a lack of understanding of the important role entrepreneurship has for future generations at the level of decision makers - Ministry of Education and Superintendents of Education – cultural – society (including parents and teachers) is not tolerant of young people who think differently than those that have gone before them. – bureaucratic and administrative – including lack of transparency – financing is difficult to acquire due to the lack of faith in the youths’ ability to execute the ide
    • 29Remedies:Though the barriers were very similar among the regions, the remedies spanned a broader spectrum. Poland Washington State– utilize the natural curiosity of kids, start – provide resources, including lists of entrepreneurship earlier, since 6 not 16 companies that are willing to invest– provide less useless theory and more practical – bring mentors into the school, like they do elements including mentoring by business for college visit days practitioners – advertise alternative after high school– include in the educational practices attitude options and skills competencies, not only the – encourage pursuit of practical and information/knowledge elements rewarding vocations– educational curriculum should be linked to the – offer opportunities through market needs entrepreneurship– prepare the entrepreneurship curriculum by – give options in classes to get more involved entrepreneurs, students and the best teachers in businesses jointly – not by professors working on the – teach about the current business climate in corporate management/strategy class– teachers should have sufficient knowledge and – teach classes related to funding financing practice on what they talk about options– redefine roles of schools: treat students as a – provide more information on current customer in a world of global competition technologies– ensure a balance between intellect, body, – organize entrepreneurship fairs at high emotions and spirituality in the educational schools practice – provide classes in economics and– provide start-ups’ know-how accounting
    • 30Annex 3.
    • 31Strand 5: Management and Entrepreneurship Knowledge and Skills5.A Analyze basic business practices required to start and run a company/organization. 5.A.01a Define entrepreneurship. 5.A.02a Describe the relationship between suppliers, producers, and consumers. 5.A.03a Compare and contrast types of businesses, including sole proprietorships, small businesses, companies, corporations, governmental agencies, and non-profit organizations. 5.A.04a Describe practices that ensure quality customer service. 5.A.05a Explain the value of competition in business/field. Performance Examples: 1. Prepare a business plan for a new company in your community. 2. Participate in a discussion with members of a local small-business incubator or chamber of commerce, identifying opportunities and summarizing best practices of new companies. 3. Create an equipment list, with costs, of equipment required for doing specific tasks. 4. Identify local zoning and environmental laws that apply to businesses in your industry.5.B Manage all resources related to a business/organization. 5.B.01a Identify a company’s/organization’s chain of command and organizational structure. 5.B.02a Define and demonstrate leadership and teamwork skills. 5.B.03a Explain ways a company or organization can market itself, including choosing a name, designing logos and promotional materials, advertising, and the importance of word-of-mouth. 5.B.04a Identify methods to track inventory, productivity, income, expenses, and personnel. 5.B.05a Explain the importance of written operating procedures and policies. 5.B.06a Identify professional organizations and their benefits. 5.B.07a Explain methods to effectively run a meeting. Performance Examples: 1. Create a plan to keep track of tools and supplies in your classroom/shop. 2. Work as a team to complete a project, including running and participating in problem- solving meetings. 3. Contact a relevant professional organization and request information about its benefits, membership requirements, and costs. 4. Clip print advertisements from local companies, identifying common themes and contrasting different styles.5.C Describe methods for managing, organizing, retrieving and reporting financial data. 5.C.01a Explain the role of small businesses in the economy. 5.C.02a Extract and extrapolate data from financial documents, such as a pay-stub, budget, tax statement, and financial report. 1. Create and follow a bud 2. Identify equipment in your shop/lab that are conside 3. From a pay-stub, determine gross salary, deductions, and net pay f calendar year. 4. Create a rate card or other list of standardized costs for services provided, based on research of local rates and practices.5 decisions. 5.D.01a List federal and state mandated employee rights. 5.D.02a Describe proper working conditions for your indust 5.D.03a Explain the role of labor organizations. 5.D.04a Discuss the importance of diversity and diversity in the workplace. 5.D.05a Describe standard forms of employment contracts applicable to your industry. 5.D.06a State the current minimum wage, as well as wages for common jobs found within the field. List opportunities for co Performance Examples:
    • 32 1. Participate in and summ organization. Participate in a organization. 3. While participating in a group project, write and follow job descriptions for each member of the team. 4. Evaluate a shop/lab in terms of safety, ergonomics, and workflow.5 industry. 5.E.01a Describe the role that the industry/organization plays in differ communities. Describe the ro company’s/organization’s decision-making process. ce Example: 1. Participate in a service5 and decisions. 5.F.01a Identify laws that regulate businesses/organizations in your field. 5.F.02a Define the requirements for and protections given by copyright an trademark law. 5.F.03a Define the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other civil rights legislation on your business/organization, employees, and customers. Define ethical business practices for your field. 5.F.05a Identify trade-specific practices that support clea technologies and encourage environmental sustainability.Performance Examples: 1. Research the ethical guidelines set forth by a professional organization related to your industry and participate in a debate over how to apply these guidelines to a variety of situations. 2. Create a portfolio of a variety of completed contracts and their uses. 3. Participate in and summarize a discussion with a lawyer, consumer advocate, or other legal professional. 4. Create a quick reference outline listing legal topics and related resources.
    • 33Reading materials and bibliographyBlinder, A. S. (2007). How Many U.S. Jobs Might Be Offshorable? CEPS Working Paper No. 142March 2007. Princeton University.http://www.princeton.edu/~blinder/papers/07ceps142.pdfBloom B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain.New York: David McKay Co Inc.Bonnstetter, B. J. (2012). New Research: The Skills That Make an Entrepreneur. Harvard BusinessReview. HBR Blog Network.http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/12/new_research_the_skills_that_m.htmlEuropean Commission (2009). Entrepreneurship in vocational education and training. Finalreport of the Expert Group. Brussels. November 2009.State of Massachusetts (2007). Vocational Technical Education Framework. Standardised Strand5: Management and Entrepreneurship. Massachusetts Department of Education. Malden.Massachusetts. August 2007.Brynjolfsson, E. & McAfee, A. (2012). The Great Decoupling. The International Herald Tribune. 12December 2012.Garavan, T. N. & OCinneide, B. (1994). Literature review of problems associated withentrepreneurship education and training programmes. Entrepreneurship Education and TrainingProgrammes: A Review and Evaluation - Part 1. Journal of European Industrial TrainingGaravan, T. & O’Cinneide, B. (1994). Entrepreneurship education and training programmes: Areview and evaluation - Part 1. Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 18 (8).Massachusetts Budget & Policy Center (2012). Youth and Work in Massachusetts. Massbudget.December 3, 2012.http://massbudget.org/report_window.php?loc=massbudget_youth_employment.htmlMwasalwiba, E. S. (2010). Entrepreneurship Education: A Review of Its Objectives, TeachingMethods, and Impact Indicators. Education and Training. Vol. 52(1) pp 42-47.Massachusetts Budget and Policy Centre (2012). Youth and Work in Massachusetts andacross the Nation. 2 December 2012. Boston, MA 02108.http://massbudget.org/report_window.php?loc=massbudget_youth_employment.htmlPittaway, L & Cope , J. (2007). Entrepreneurship Education: A Systematic Review of the Evidence.International Small Business Journal. Vol. 25(5) pps. 479-510 .Kiiver H. & Hijman, R. (2010). Impact of the crisis on unemployment. Eurostat Statistics in Focus20/2010.
    • 34http://www.1mayo.ccoo.es/nova/files/1018/S10Doc12.pdfUS Bureau of Labour Statistics (2012). The Employment Situation November, 2012. Friday 7December 2012.http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htmWEF (2009). Educating the Next Wave of Entrepreneurs Unlocking entrepreneurial capabilities tomeet the global challenges of the 21st Century. A Report of the Global Education Initiative.Cologny, Geneva. April 2009.https://members.weforum.org/pdf/GEI/2009/Entrepreneurship_Education_Report.pdf