Designing a Wilderness Entrepreneurship Curriculum

The process of putting together a new IP with seven different universities spread out over Europe is a complicated task. It was the first time that this consortium of universities worked together to offer a collaborative curriculum and organizing the programme became a priority, rather than the documentation of the educational de-

Fig. 10.3  Locals inhabitants of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo (Portugal) listen to students presenting their vision for the region and their business model. (Photo Credit: Judith Jobse)

sign process. Even though articulated programme principles were not documented beforehand, it is possible to carry out a critical analyses of the IP EWE.

The case study is based on observations of participating lecturers, on the minutes of a review meeting and on the results of a questionnaire distributed to participants at the end of the programme. Students participated in the whole IP. From the 30 participants, 20 returned the questionnaire including 9 bachelor and 11 master students (5 Bulgarians, 2 Croatians, 6 Dutch, 2 Portuguese and 5 Spanish). Most lecturers (11 out of 15) participated in more than 50 % of the programme and 8 returned the questionnaire (2 Bulgarians, 4 Dutch, 1 Spanish and 1 Swedish). Nine lecturers joined a review meeting at the end of the programme.

Creating new entrepreneurship curricula or integrating entrepreneurship in existing curricula requires the identification of the competences that students should attain. In the Netherlands, competence based learning is mainstream at universities of applied sciences. Competences encompass knowledge, skills, and attitude. They “enable successful task performance and problem solving with respect to real-world problems” (Lans et al. 2013). A second aspect to consider is the way students learn these competences; which learning strategies are used for the different competences? When describing those learning strategies, we include all learning methodologies applied such as lectures and practical work and the role of teachers and stakeholders in the process. A third aspect to consider is the environment in which learning takes place. Learning environments have certain qualities that enable or disable the specific learning strategy that is envisaged. We divide the learning environment into physical and social aspects. For the social learning environment, we focus on cultural and linguistic aspects. The physical learning environment often used in formal education is a classroom setting. Literature shows that changing this setting—getting outdoor, working in other cultures or countries, in new landscapes—can increase the learning capacity of students (Meijles and Van Hoven 2010; Peacock and Pratt 2011; Nedovic and Morrissey 2013). These new or unfamiliar environments can increase motivation, enhance imagination, and create focus.

 
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