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Transformative learning in the entrepreneurship education process: the role of pedagogical nudging and reflection

Neergaard, Helle, Robinson, Sarah and Jones, Sally ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4760-5969 (2021) Transformative learning in the entrepreneurship education process: the role of pedagogical nudging and reflection. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 27 (1). pp. 251-277. ISSN 1355-2554

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Abstract

Purpose – This paper introduces “pedagogical nudging” as a method, which can transform student dispositions and their perceived “fit” with the field of entrepreneurship. The authors investigate what characterises the identity change process experienced by students when exposed to pedagogical nudging. Design/methodology/approach – Using ethnography, the authors apply an experiential-explorative approach to collecting data. The authors collected 1,015 individual reflection logs from 145 students of which the authors sampled 290 for this paper combined with interviews, observational and documentary data. Findings – Pedagogical nudging techniques help (1) expose and challenge the student habitus by planting footprints in the mind; (2) straddle the divide between student and nascent entrepreneur by enabling them to recognise and experiment with an entrepreneurial habitus and (3) figuratively learn to climb the entrepreneurial tree by embracing an entrepreneurial habitus. In the first step, the authors use the interventions as cognitive means of influencing (pedagogical nudging). In the second, students participate in an iterative meaning-making process through reflection. In the third, they internalise the “new” entrepreneurial habitus—or discard it. Research limitations/implications – The authors extend existing knowledge about the effect of particular kinds of pedagogies in entrepreneurship teaching, and how these can support enterprising behaviour. The authors demonstrate how an exploration of the inner self, identity and beliefs develops the capacity for students to re-shape future outcomes and create value. Practical implications – By using nudging pedagogies, educators can support students to develop new ways of acknowledging and coping with transformative learning. Originality/value – The research documents how it is possible to ’nudge’ our students towards more entrepreneurial behaviours.

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