Entrepreneurship Course and Student Performance

With the rapid and intersectional development of business, the related skills have become useful not only for people that seek to develop or enhance their entrepreneurship skills and run their own companies but also for the general audience. The labor market is increasingly insisting on this requirement to succeed professionally in managerial duties. The ability to manage teams, motivate participants, calculate the budget, allocate the required resources, build a business plan, and conduct other tasks related directly to business and entrepreneurship is no longer relegated solely to the specified area (Yeap et al., 2020). However, entrepreneurship skills have become a critical requirement for every citizen due to the need to build essential business awareness and develop a viable plan for further professional and economic development (Bux & Van Vuuren, 2019). For this reason, introducing an entrepreneurship course must be seen as a critical step in supporting people and contributing to the well-being of the global community. Therefore, this paper aims to prove the necessity of an entrepreneurship course in students’ performance and entrepreneurial careers and determine the core components of entrepreneurship education.

Definition of Terms

The concept of entrepreneurship has evolved to include various aspects. Basically, entrepreneurship is one’s ability to implement and run a business to make profits (Bauman & Lucy 2019). However, in modern times the concept covers one’s ability to transform the world by solving critical problems and innovation (Bauman & Lucy 2019). The subject entails innovation that causes positive social changes and enterprising ideas. Entrepreneurship education is training that prepares individuals to be enterprising and responsible. The aim of entrepreneurship as a subject is to enhance analytical skills, creativity, and reflection and increase the ability to start and manage a business. Most institutions refer to entrepreneurship subjects as entrepreneurial education to encompass entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education (Yeap et al., 2020). Thus, the paper will use the term entrepreneurial education extensively to mean entrepreneurship education. The term students in the current research will be used for high school learners as they are the target population.

Problem Statement

Many high schools across the country lack or have inadequate entrepreneurial programs, which could hinder the student鈥檚 development, cognitive prowess, and coping in today鈥檚 life. The course has exponentially grown in higher education with the significant establishment of business schools to offer entrepreneurial training. However, other levels of education, such as high school, are yet to adopt the course in their curriculum despite the benefits of the course in various aspects of academics and career advancements. This problem is significant because students are generally not taught to make their own decisions. Students do not feel involved with their lessons because of the lack of connection. The introduction of high-school entrepreneurship programs would be advantageous to young learners in resolving daily issues. In addition, it may boost their efficacy and improve outcomes in other subjects. Bauman and Lucy (2019) state that one’s productivity increases to develop entrepreneurial competencies. Other studies prove that developing entrepreneurial skills can enable students to take more risks and succeed (Zulfiqar et al., 2019). Today, the entrepreneurship course is vital in many countries’ educational policies and industrial innovation (Shneor et al., 2021). The course significantly contributes to the value of the education system as entrepreneurship enhances the chances of academic performance and employability. Students and teachers engage in entrepreneurial activities through projects such as pupil enterprise, which relates to entrepreneurial education. Therefore, introducing the course in high school can enhance the students’ chances of developing an entrepreneurial mind at the early stages, develop their social and communication skills and assist in academic performance in other subjects.

The Purpose of the Study

The current study explores the significance of entrepreneurship education in student performance and career development. The research will identify the critical constituents of an entrepreneurship course in question, with corresponding justifications for the choices made. Furthermore, the courses’ limitations and the chances they will offer to the selected population will be identified to ensure that the opportunities for providing people with entrepreneurship-related skills will be open to the participants. The study seeks to predict the changes to be observed in the future due to the introduction of educational opportunities concerning the development of entrepreneurship-related skills. Specifically, the opportunities and benefits an entrepreneurship course can provide students and other learners currently enrolled in entrepreneurship.

The research will be based on the following hypothesis:

  • Hypothesis 1: There will be a positive relationship between entrepreneurial education and academic performance
  • Hypothesis 2: Students currently attending entrepreneurial classes have higher academic scores than those who do not attend.

Research Questions

Consequently, the research questions to be answered in the course of this research are as follows:

  1. What elements of business and economics must be integrated into a course to increase students’ entrepreneurship-related literacy so they can develop their skills in their other classes and the professional field after graduating from high school?
  2. To what extent do the entrepreneurship course and its specific components contribute to developing the necessary competencies?
  3. Does entrepreneurial education have a significant role in choosing a career path and professionalism?
  4. How does entrepreneurship education influence students’ attitude, behavior and academic performance?

The Significance of the Study

The current study investigates the relationship between entrepreneurship education and high school students’ general academic performance. Numerous studies demonstrate the efficacy of the suggested initiative as it presents positive outcomes (Rina et al., 2019). The study will add substantial literature on the importance of entrepreneurship in higher learning, starting from high school. For instance, entrepreneurial role models participating in training courses inspire the youth to achieve small successes (Lafortune et al., 2018). Further, this research will benefit the researchers studying the mentioned issues, the educators, and entrepreneurs who desire to implement their programs into educational practice. By highlighting the positive outcomes of studying entrepreneurship, schools will have a good reason to incorporate the course into the curriculum and student activities. Hence, it is vital to investigate how such training courses affect skill acquisition and performance growth.

Literature Review

The Influence of Entrepreneurship on The Development of Personal Qualities and Attitudes

Ability to Take Action

Entrepreneurship is often associated with people in the business industry. However, applying entrepreneurial skills in other areas such as education can help students’ academic achievement, development of quality attitudes, and personal qualities such as critical thinking. Entrepreneurship enhances decision-making skills enabling students to think critically and make better judgments on education, career, and lifestyles (Shneor et al., 2021). Project-based learning allows the students to experience hands-on, enhances their confidence, and expands their creative skills. With increased innovation in today’s labor market, most employment qualifications insist on hands-on experience, critical thinking, and decision-making qualities to succeed as a professional. Likewise, social interaction and individual attitude are critical elements in securing employment as it shows good communication skills and spirit to work in a team. The 2020 statistical report from the Future of Jobs Survey shows that employees value flexibility, the ability to interact effectively with others, client orientation, negotiation ability, and high emotional intelligence in job seekers (Whiting, 2020). Through entrepreneurship courses, students can learn these qualities and prepare them for future careers and professionalism.

Entrepreneurship is gaining much attention and popularity in the age of rapidly growing start-up businesses. However, many start-up businesses fail due to a lack of entrepreneurial skills, whereas others who wish to start their business have inadequate skills in entrepreneurship, such as the ability to negotiate and flexibility to make intelligent decisions. Long-term preparation of students in entrepreneurial education and practice has proved its effectiveness in developing their ability to implement, build and manage business projects (Shneor et al., 2021). Students can use their work skills and experience in other fields of interest apart from business implementation and management. Therefore, introducing entrepreneurial training in high school will bridge the gap between demand and supply of entrepreneurial skills by developing the required competencies for starting and managing individual and start-up businesses.

Social Skills

Forming friendly relations, communication skills, and a sense of community is one of the fundamental factors of entrepreneur activities. J贸nsd贸ttir & Macdonald (2021) argue that collective participation in labor allows individuals to develop ethical attitudes, friendliness, and responsibility in teamwork. Acquiring social skills through work enhances self-determination and guides an individual to the correct career through consultation, teamwork, and practical method during entrepreneurial activities (Bux &Van Vuuren, 2019). Notably, many students choose career paths early, and entrepreneurship can enhance career choices. At the same time, having social skills and an entrepreneurial mind enables one to adapt to any workplace environment making the course more suitable for high school students. Including students in various entrepreneurial activities fosters positive moral attitudes, organizational skills, and competencies development. The activities promote personality traits and appropriate ways of interacting with people from diverse backgrounds.

Entrepreneurship as a Learning Subject

Entrepreneurship is a learning subject that enhances students’ ability to absorb new information and obtain basic skills through practical methods. According to the social cognitive theory, individuals learn and develop skills and attributes from their surroundings which enhance the persuasion of goals within reach of their abilities to achieve the desired outcome (Lafortune et al., 2018). Entrepreneurship training improves cognitive ability by constantly adjusting thoughts and actions, making the course more directional and meaningful in academic performance.

Today’s unpredictability and dramatic changes in political, social, and economic environments call for entrepreneurial qualities such as flexibility, risk-taking, and quick grasping and analysis of problems for opportunities and added value. (Rina et al., 2019). Bux & Van Vuuren (2019) state that entrepreneurship course offers managerial skills, communication skills, creativity, and organizational skill, which add value to a student’s confidence and academic achievement. Organizational skills include one’s ability to plan and execute an activity successfully using the available resources. Communicative skills entail interacting and cooperating, consideration for other interests, respect, and establishing healthy relationships. Managerial skills entail making administrative decisions effectively, solving problems, delegating power, taking appropriate risks, and coordinating various organizational tasks (Bux &Van Vuuren, 2019). Lastly, creative skills involve taking non-standard approaches and being motivated to grab emerging opportunities (Lafortune et al., 2018). Therefore, entrepreneurial activity in high school students becomes expedient as it actively enhances students’ cognitive ability and absorbs new things, enhancing academic performance.

Developing Entrepreneurial Competencies

Entrepreneurial competencies are essential in career and professional development. The competencies refer to skills and abilities that can assist graduates in building influential careers and creating and managing individual enterprises (Yeap et al., 2020). Modern labor markets require individuals with in-depth theoretical knowledge of business matters and practical experience that can be put to practice (Shneor et al., 2021). Thus, entrepreneurial education aims at enabling students to apply their basic knowledge and skills of entrepreneurship to enterprising projects and professional achievement after completing their education.

Developing entrepreneurial competencies is dependent on various factors. The crucial factors include the teacher’s expertise in economic disciplines and the teacher’s role as an entrepreneurial mentor. Another factor is the institution’s educational system regarding pedagogical and psychological support for leadership and entrepreneurial skills and competencies. According to Shneor et al. (2021), developing entrepreneurial qualities requires incorporating education in classrooms and extracurricular activities where children learn theoretical concepts and how to apply them in real life, such as making budgets and spending money. Entrepreneurial courses should aim to foster positive motivation, acquire basic entrepreneurial skills, and building of skills and competencies. In Europe, schools have adopted the course as a local practice of preparing the youth to adapt to societal factors such as professionalism, independent analysis of challenges, critical thinking, and an active life position (Rina et al., 2019). Thus, students are taught entrepreneurial competencies from an early age.

Consequently, developing the competencies requires practical steps such as organizing activities that promote entrepreneurial qualities. Nowadays, numerous programs aimed at developing an entrepreneurial project are available that can be incorporated into the curriculum for students between 12-16 years (J贸nsd贸ttir & Macdonald, 2018). The teenagers work in groups in activities such as team homework and business games. Combining theoretical knowledge and practice enhances the teenager’s ability to implement entrepreneurial projects and develop skills. Another initiative includes developing innovative projects about critical societal issues, such as solving economic, political, environmental, and social problems. Successful entrepreneurs then evaluate the projects from significant companies, and winners receive awards for their creativity and innovation (Bauman& Lucy, 2019). Thus, students obtain entrepreneurial experience and opportunities to enter the business market from the program.

Methodology

Research Design

The current research will employ a mixed research method. The questions and the hypothesis above demonstrate the questions needed to be represented by the mixed research method. The hypothesis will require quantitative analysis, explicitly comparing people’s performance before and after the experiment, while the research questions require collecting qualitative data. However, due to the objective-oriented nature of the investigation, the qualitative research method will be the primary emphasis. The variables in this study include participants’ performance and skills related to managing their financial performance in their target area, the extent of their business literacy, the entrepreneurship course, and the components thereof. Specifically, participants’ performance will be studied as the dependent variable expected to change with the introduction of additional variables into the research (Farghaly, 2018). The dependent variable under analysis is expected to increase as the research progresses. In turn, the entrepreneurship course, its specific components, and the levels of participants’ understanding of the subject matter will be the core independent variables that are believed to positively affect the dependent ones. During the study, the participants will gradually be exposed to the independent variables under analysis.

Target Study Group

The research will be conducted on students in high school between the ages of 14 and 18 years enrolled in grades nine to twelve. It will be done through purposeful selection, where the focus group is chosen based on class performance. The focus will be on a broad group of students coming from a variety of different diverse backgrounds. The selection will include students from public and private high schools. The research will include teachers who are not teaching entrepreneurial courses and those teaching entrepreneurial courses. The target study group will also include learners who are currently enrolled in an entrepreneurial course and those who are not enrolled in such a course, who will make up the study group.

Sampling Techniques

In qualitative research, the selection of samples is typically determined by the extent to which it will aid the research in understanding the variations under investigation. Since this form of research aims to understand better how something operates, the study will employ a sampling method that does not rely on probability to restrict the number of candidates for inclusion in the study group (Mukherjee, 2020). Students from the different schools enrolling in the same entrepreneurship course will be grouped, while students from other institutions who are not enrolled will be grouped separately. Fifty students enrolled in an entrepreneurial course who excel in their other academic endeavors will be selected to employ a deliberate sampling methodology.

Furthermore, fifty students enrolled in an entrepreneurship class that are not performing well in any of the other courses they are studying. In addition, the purposive sample approach will be used to pick fifty students who are not currently enrolled in the class but who excel in their performance in other areas of study (Mukherjee, 2020). These students will be chosen because of their outstanding accomplishments in those other areas of study for comparison purposes. One or two teachers from the county public schools and one from a private school will be chosen randomly to represent each grade level in this research.

Type of Data to be Collected

The academic performance of all the students chosen for this investigation will serve as the basis for the data collection for this study. In particular, their performance for a year is so that we may evaluate how well they have been consistent. The disparity between the results that students from the private sector and those from the public sector achieved in their entrepreneurship class will be gathered. The information will be used to assist in the evaluation of the goals of the research. The research will consist of the collected qualitative comments from the group because they will act as a control group for the research. The final piece of information that will be gathered is the response of the selected professors and instructors from both schools to the question of whether or not the course is vital to students to assist them in performing better in other topics they are enrolled in.

Data Collection Methods

Several data collection strategies will be utilized in this study. The chosen study group will be interviewed individually to get first-hand information on their performance. Despite being costly and time-consuming, the final results are of high quality. The study group will be asked whether the course has positive or negative effects on their overall performance in other discipline course areas. Additionally, interviews offer the opportunity for open-ended questioning (Sagar, 2022). In contrast to other primary data gathering methods, such as surveys, interviews are more adjustable and flexible to meet the specific requirements of each participant.

Significant amounts of data will be collected without questioning any individuals. Document-and record-based research uses information already gathered for an investigation (Farghaly, 2018). Utilizing papers and records is a cost-effective and time-saving method since most research is based on previously conducted work. Questionnaires are an essential part of primary surveys (Sagar, 2022). The teachers will be required to answer questions addressing whether introducing the aspects of entrepreneurship into the curriculum, such as finance, marketing, sales, product knowledge, and solutions, will enable the learners to relate to other courses more effectively, and improve their academic achievement successfully.

Data Analysis Methods

The data will be thoroughly evaluated throughout the data analysis phase of the research so that this process may determine the problem or provide a benefit. One method for achieving this goal is to compute the mean, mode, and median of the student’s performance in the selected areas (Mukherjee, 2020). It will be beneficial in determining students’ overall success in this process and its influence on their performance in additional courses besides the entrepreneurship pedagogy courses. Pie charts, Gantt charts, and Textual reports will be utilized in the research for visual presentation of collected data to determine the outcomes. For analysis of qualitative data, the researcher will apply the qualitative content analysis (QDA) technique. The method involves evaluation of patterns in the collected and determine the frequency of the number of times the idea or word is mentioned (Farghaly, 2018). The analysis method is practical in the mixed methodology since the frequencies can be coded and classified for quantitative interpretation.

References

Bauman, A., & Lucy, C. (2019). Enhancing entrepreneurial education: Developing competencies for success. The International Journal of Management Education, 19. Web.

Bux, S., & Van Vuuren, J. (2019). The effect of entrepreneurship education programs on the development of self-efficacy, entrepreneurial intention, and predictions for entrepreneurship. Acta Commercii, 19(2), 1-13. Web.

Farghaly, A. (2018). Comparing and contrasting quantitative and qualitative research approaches in education: The peculiar situation of medical education. Education in Medicine Journal, 10(1), 1-9. Web.

J贸nsd贸ttir, S. R., & Macdonald, M. A. (2018). The feasibility of innovation and entrepreneurial education in middle schools. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development. Web.

Lafortune, J., Riutort, J., & Tessada, J. (2018). Role models or individual consulting: The impact of personalizing micro-entrepreneurship training.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 10 (4), 222-45. Web.

Mohajan, H. K. (2018). Qualitative research methodology in social sciences and related subjects. Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People, 7(1), 23-48. Web.

Mukherjee, S. P. (2020). A guide to research methodology: An overview of research problems, tasks and methods. CRC Press.

Rina, L., Murtini, W., & Indriayu, M. (2019). Entrepreneurship education: Is it essential for middle school students? Dinamika Pendidikan, 14(1), 47-59. Web.

Sagar, A. (2022). Questionnaire Method of Data Collection. The Biology Notes. Web.

Shneor, R., Smith, J. B., Smith, C. G., & Michael Goedecke, J. F. (2021). The differential impact of entrepreneurship education on the entrepreneurial intentions of segments of students. Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy, 4(4), 718-739. Web.

Whiting, K. (2020). These are the top 10 job skills of tomorrow鈥揳nd how long it takes to learn them. In World Economic Forum (Vol. 21). Web.

Yeap, S. B., Abdullah, A. G. K., & Thien, L. M. (2020). Lecturers’ commitment to teaching entrepreneurship: do transformational leadership, mindfulness and readiness for change matter? Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, 13(1), 164-179. Web.

Zulfiqar, S., Sarwar, B., Aziz, S., Ejaz Chandia, K., & Khan, M. K. (2019). An analysis of influence of business simulation games on business school students鈥 attitude and intention toward entrepreneurial activities. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 57(1), 106鈥130. Web.

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