Educating prospective entrepreneurship researchers: the case of a summer school as a learning community
The paper describes the case of the European entrepreneurship summer school (EESS) supported by a consortium of universities from different countries. The paper develops a set of theoretical propositions and practical recommendations for creating a learning community and space around a summer school activity in the context of a larger ecosystem encouraging students to choose a career in the respective area. The core elements building the innovativeness of the concept of this educational initiative are analyzed. First, it is the complementarity of expertise which shapes a teachers’ learning community’. Second, it is the active involvement of students achieved through preselection of motivated participants, coaching, and an individual and group work. Third, it is a creation of a safety feeling among participants to increase the mutual trust and intensive interactions among students. Forth, it is the co-opetition among students collaborating but also competing with the group-project presentations. Fifth, it is the pre-school preparation of students to achieve a minimal level of common knowledge of related concepts and techniques. The limitations of the EESS model are: (1) the international team of teachers, (2) the geographical dispersion which negatively contributes to the students’ pre-school learning community, (3) the volunteering activity of the organizers and teaching staff, which is limited by their main workload, (4) the financial model which does not allow to become sustainable without a support of the participating universities.