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Understanding students’ emotional reactions to entrepreneurship education: A conceptual framework

Jones, SA and Underwood, S (2017) Understanding students’ emotional reactions to entrepreneurship education: A conceptual framework. Education and Training, 59 (7/8). pp. 657-671. ISSN 0040-0912

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Abstract

Purpose: This conceptual paper focuses on approaches that acknowledge and make explicit the role of emotion in the entrepreneurship education classroom. As entrepreneurship educators, we are aware of the affective impacts that entrepreneurship education has on our students and we continuously reflect on and support our students through, what is acknowledged in practice, as an emotionally charged experience. With this in mind, we outline how a variety of disciplines engage with the role of emotions and how an interdisciplinary approach to the topic, can support pedagogy. Approach: We synthesise relevant arguments from four discrete disciplines: Neuroscience; Psychology, Education and Entrepreneurship, which have not previously been combined. We argue that the role of emotion in learning generally, has been investigated across these disparate disciplines, but has not been brought together in a way that provides practical implications for the development of pedagogy. Findings: Through synthesising the findings from four bodies of knowledge that engage with emotion, entrepreneurship and education, we start to develop a theoretical model based around the concept of the emotional ecology of the classroom. Research Implications: The role of emotion in entrepreneurship education is an emerging topic and our synthesis of research supports further investigation. Our insights will support educators to develop classroom environments that acknowledge relationships between students and between students and educators. Such engagement could help educators and students to appreciate, acknowledge and address the emotional aspects of entrepreneurship education. Value: The paper starts to develop new theory around emotions in entrepreneurship education, developing the idea of the emotional ‘ecology’ of teaching environments and highlighting how this might support future research agendas.

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