Entrepreneurship Education: A Dimension of Citizenship Education

Entrepreneurship Education: A Dimension of Citizenship Education

Francisco Banha (University of Algarve, Portugal & CEFAGE, University of Evora, Portugal & and University of Algarve, Portugal), Sandra Saúde (Polytechnic Institute of Beja, Portugal & CICS, NOVA University Lisbon, Portugal) and Adão Jesus Gonçalves Flores (University of Algarve, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4402-0.ch006
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Abstract

This chapter is based on the assumptions, methodologies, and results of two intermunicipal entrepreneurship education projects carried out in Portugal, specifically in Dão Lafões and Baixo Alentejo regions. It analyzes and demonstrates how, in formal and/or non-formal educational contexts, developing work methodologies that promote entrepreneurship consolidate competencies of creativity, proactivity, group work, planning, division of tasks, focus on problem solving, which are fundamental to full and active citizenship. The projects undertaken, supported on learning by doing methodology involved different agents of the communities beyond the schools, are and/or have been valuable contributions to the formation of more autonomous and proactive citizens with a democratic, pluralistic, critical, and creative spirit. Entrepreneurship is a competence for life. Taking initiative, mobilizing others, and getting them on board with ideas and/or solutions to problems are useful skills for daily life in our society and contribute to the sustainability of our common world.
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Literature Review

More than in vogue, the concepts of citizenship and entrepreneurship, as well as citizenship education and entrepreneurship education, have been catching the attention of various national and international authors, and more importantly, have been considered as priority guidelines for the well-being and development of current and future societies by both states and international institutions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Proactive Citizenship: Proactivity or proactive behavior by individuals refers to anticipatory, change-oriented, and self-initiated behavior. Proactive behavior involves acting in advance of a future situation, rather than just reacting. It means taking control and making things happen rather than just adjusting to a situation or waiting for something to happen. Proactive citizenship implies assuming and taking co-responsibility for the defense and care for the fundamental principles of life in society, which, currently, implies knowing how to act and actively care for the sustainability of the ecosystem in which we live.

Sustainable World: In 1987, the United Nations Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Essentially, sustainability is about the relationship between people and planet; remembering that we are inextricably part of this planet, and that our societies (including economies) depend upon healthy biological and physical systems. At its most literal level, sustainability refers to the quality of a state or process that allows it to be maintained indefinitely. At present, the way we are living is not sustainable. If we carry on as we are, the Earth's natural resources and physical systems will be irreversibly damaged and depleted. The problems we face in achieving sustainability are large, but they can be overcome. They can't be solved just by changing your light bulbs (though that is certainly a good start). We will require new ways of thinking about how we live our lives—how we work, how we do business, how we eat, shop, travel and participate in our communities. We need to view resources use, and, above all we need to review and correct the way we get involved and participate in the defense of a more sustainable world.

Entrepreneurial competencies: Knowledge, skills, and attitudes that structure and promote behaviors that aim to change. They are skills associated with the ability to: analyze and critically reflect, identify solutions to a specific identified problem, plan, combine strategies and techniques to achieve the final objective, energize group work and commitment, and lead and mobilize everyone for action.

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