An EICAA partner's point of view

Report shows: Lack of training for future teachers – Univations GmbH

For future teachers from the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt in Germany, there are too few offers during their initial teacher education to strengthen their entrepreneurial skills. This became clear in an evaluation report by Univations GmbH which was produced as part of a project funded by the state of Saxony-Anhalt and the European Social Fund.

In Germany, initial teacher education is embedded in higher education and lies in the responsibility of the individual federal states. They can organise the curriculum – in standards agreed between the Federal States – according to different key aspects. For all students the first phase of teacher training is the study at a university or college, followed by several mandatory practical teaching experiences at a later stage before entering actual service at school as a fully qualified teacher.

Within the framework of the evaluation report, the initial education of teachers and the role entrepreneurship education plays in it was investigated. In the research on the status quo, teacher training in Saxony-Anhalt was examined at both universities that offer teacher training as a degree programme. The result: there are hardly any offers to strengthen entrepreneurial competences for “pre-service teacher”-students. Although it can be stated for Saxony-Anhalt that relevant representatives from the fields of science, education and economy have agreed within the framework of the Regional Innovation Strategy 2014 – 2020 to take measures to develop an entrepreneurial culture, including in schools, vocational schools and universities. However, there is still no (cross-)curricular anchoring of entrepreneurship education in most studies. In part, it is addressed for aspiring teachers who have chosen economics as a school subject. But this subject area is not part of every student’s basic education.

As part of the evaluation, Univations advises to examine in which areas of initial teacher training the subject of entrepreneurship education can be anchored in the future. It once again underlines the importance of projects that focus on promoting entrepreneurship education in pre-service and in-service teacher training. As one of many fields of application, EICAA outputs would represent real added value in this context: higher education lecturers could utilise the digital platform for their teaching efforts. In this way, the entrepreneurial competence profiles of their students could be well captured and further developed subsequently in response to most pressing competence needs. Thus, lecturers would get an instrument that allows them to identify and address deficits in order to push the improvement of learners’ entrepreneurial competences. Ultimately, this may facilitate and leverage further integration of entrepreneurship education in a domain as initial teacher education and bring Saxony-Anhalt closer to educating entrepreneurial teachers, as called for by European policy makers.

For further information about the report please contact Melanie Friedrichs (Univations GmbH) via mail to friedrichs@univations.de.

Author: Melanie Friedrichs, Univations GmbH