What is it about?

The Chinese government has been promoting entrepreneurship education alongside pedagogic reforms which seek to encourage the inclusion of more progressive educational approaches. Moving away from an overreliance on traditional approaches which focus on the passive transmission of knowledge, the transition to include more active forms of learning within entrepreneurship education has led to a fusion of traditional and more progressive approaches to teaching. This bringing together of approaches has led to calls for entrepreneurship education to be contextualized within the Chinese context, against the backdrop of the progressive pedagogic reforms. This paper addresses this by exploring how Chinese educators are responding to directives encouraging progressive pedagogic entrepreneurship education, by applying the lens of Sfard’s knowledge acquisition and participation-orientation learning metaphors. Adopting this lens allows the conceptualisation of the learning, in terms of what students need to learn, the aims of studying, and the conceptualization of the roles of students and educators, rather than being solely focused on the educational delivery.

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Why is it important?

It is valuable to understand how entrepreneurship education is being developed in the Chinese context, where traditional educational methods are still highly valued, yet pedagogic reforms are seeking to encourage and develop practice in a different direction. The research found that whilst educators still relied heavily on transmission-acquisition learning approaches, more progressive practice could be found in the inclusion of constructivist-acquisition and participation approaches. Whilst the inclusion of constructivist-acquisition is more developed than the participation metaphor, both are desirable in the light of education reforms, as they move away from the passive transmission of knowledge. The inclusion and emphasis on constructivist-acquisition learning approaches aligns with the Chinese educational tradition that values knowledge. The balancing of transmission-acquisition and constructivist-acquisition approaches challenges the conception of adopting either a traditional or a progressive approach to entrepreneurship education and demonstrates how the development of entrepreneurship education is being conceptualised in China.

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This page is a summary of: Addressing progressive educational reforms: Fusing acquisition approaches and participation in Chinese entrepreneurship education, The International Journal of Management Education, March 2023, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijme.2022.100748.
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