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Using the threshold concept framework to enhance entrepreneurship curricula in higher education

HATT, LUCY,ELIZABETH (2020) Using the threshold concept framework to enhance entrepreneurship curricula in higher education. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This research uses the threshold concept framework as a lens to define entrepreneurship as an academic subject and suggest approaches to entrepreneurship education in higher education informed by how students understand it. A staged stakeholder curriculum inquiry has been conducted, interrogating the perspective of entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship educators and students of entrepreneurship education. By researching the distinctive way entrepreneurs think and practise, candidate threshold concepts (CTCs) in entrepreneurship have been identified. Approaches to educating students in entrepreneurship within a framework of engagement are suggested, together with a means of assessing students’ experiences of learning entrepreneurship.
A conceptual framework to inform entrepreneurship education is presented, responding to calls for such an approach (Blenker, Elmholdt, Frederiksen, Korsgaard, & Wagner, 2014; Fayolle, 2013; Nabi, Liñán, Fayolle, Krueger, & Walmsley, 2017; Neck & Corbett, 2018). Applying the threshold concept framework serves as a counter discourse to the commodification of learning, to which entrepreneurship is particularly vulnerable. This research assumes that there are distinctive ways entrepreneurs think and practise and builds on research that argues entrepreneurs are distinguishable according to their cognitive tendencies (Shaver & Scott, 1992). It also assumes that these ways of thinking and practising can be developed in higher education and that students can be educated to think and practise like entrepreneurs (Palich & Bagby, 1995).
Taking an interpretivist and social constructivist approach, entrepreneurship has been treated as a socially constructed phenomena and a qualitative research approach has been adopted. A staged stakeholder curriculum inquiry involving semi-structured interviews, a Delphi survey and concept mapping workshops has been conducted with ten entrepreneurs, eighteen entrepreneurship educators and forty-eight students.
By identifying CTCs in entrepreneurship and gathering perspectives on effective ways to educate students in them; the bounded and integrative characteristics of threshold concepts enable a definition of entrepreneurship and inform the development of entrepreneurship curricula.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Entrepreneurship, Higher Education, threshold concept framework, Delphi, concept mapping, curriculum development
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:25 Mar 2020 15:13

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