Embedding entrepreneurship into mainstream education – an interview with Rebecca Weicht

 

The One With Rebbeca Weicht

Rebecca, the European Hero driven to change education and learning from the ground up, by developing young people with an entrepreneurial mindset.#EuropeanHeroes

Posted by European Heroes on Saturday, May 26, 2018

Education stays often in the old, familiar tracks. Some people like Rebecca Weicht from Bantani Education would argue, that it doesn’t reflect the skills and knowledge needed for workplaces of today. In her opinion, we need to start looking at entrepreneurial skills as part of regular education, and change how teachers view the subject.

Rebecca Weicht at her work place

Good day Rebecca! Why is entrepreneurship so important to you as a topic?

I would say that education is important not just to parents and politicians, but to each person. My work in lobbying to embed entrepreneurial education into mainstream education curriculum becomes easier and easier, because we understood the monumental shift that the fourth industrial revolution, automation and all of these trends bring, which means we need to change the way we educate. We cannot continue to teach in an educational system that was set up for factory workers some 200 years ago. Instead, we should focus on skill-building and setting any learner, be it in compulsory education or in lifelong learning, up for success.

What would you change first when it comes to education?

I would make it mandatory that every learner in compulsory education goes through a practical entrepreneurial experience. And if I use the example of fostering creativity that does not mean “teaching creativity” through one-off brainstorming, which only have a limited impact, but emphasizing creativity throughout learning.

Research into creative mindset development indicates that a minimum of four to six months continuous development is required, in order to develop the neural capacity and enhanced plasticity required to be creative. So ideally, this learning should extend across the whole age range of formal and non-formal education. Short-term “stun and run” creativity activities such as brainstorming or mind-mapping have limited value. Yet established entrepreneurship education programs prioritize experience of the business start-up process. These programs are not demonstrating positive impact in terms of the student perception of their own entrepreneurial capacity or their interest in following an entrepreneurial career.

Do you have a personal motto?

I don’t have a personal motto per se but I am truly a life-long learner. I have always been driven by the desire to learn and have used opportunities at work and outside of it to educate myself, be it through skills development as a volunteer in different organisations or through non-formal education opportunities like MOOCs.

Find out more about the topic here:

Rebecca Weicht: Education systems can stifle creative thought. Here’s how to do things differently

 

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