1 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Centre for Teaching Development and Digital Media, Arts, Aarhus University3 Centre for Teaching Development and Digital Media, Arts, Aarhus University4 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
An ethnography from Danish higher education
Promoting entrepreneurialism, enterprise and entrepreneurial behaviour is a goal shared by many governments. European policy rhetoric strongly supports the promotion of entrepreneurial, creative and innovation skills in all disciplines and the cultivation of entrepreneurial mindsets. The transformation of society from an industrial society into a knowledge economy has made the production of knowledge an important factor. In Denmark, the government has mandated the teaching of entrepreneurship at higher education institutions. In this paper, we examine how particular constructions of entrepreneurialism, enterprise and entrepreneurship conflict with at least some practices of entrepreneurship education. We focus the ethnographic lens on a group of entrepreneurial academics whose task it is to educate students in entrepreneurship. We argue that these academics use a particular vision of the entrepreneurial university coupled with the practice of entrepreneurship education as an opportunity to introduce radically new modes of knowing and learning that connotes to classical ideas of critique, self-organization, activism and emancipation. This discussion has relevance for what we as educators do and how we set our students up – as passive receivers of ‘knowledge’ on the one hand, or as active participants capable of shaping their own learning, on the other.
European Journal of Higher Education, 2014, Vol 4, Issue 1, p. 80-93