Presentation on theme: "Working Alongside as Pedagogy W. Trexler Proffitt Jr., Muhlenberg College Presented at NCIIA Open 2014 San Jose, CA March 22, 2014."— Presentation transcript:
Working Alongside as Pedagogy W. Trexler Proffitt Jr., Muhlenberg College Presented at NCIIA Open 2014 San Jose, CA March 22, 2014
Problem Statement Premises Academics with Ph.D.s teach in higher ed Academics in higher ed teach theory, research Teaching theory and research is a full time job Entrepreneurship can be a full time job Conclusions People who do entrepreneurship are not academics Academics cannot do entrepreneurship QED
Notable Workarounds Define teaching entrepreneurship as non academic Call it practical training Non tenure track Ease up on the credentials, pay less money Allow field-specific outside consulting The magical 20% rule Not good for entrepreneurship Declare field specific exceptions Engineering, business schools
Context Small liberal arts college in PA, 2400 undergrads Branding as strong in the performing arts Long-standing business, economics, finance, and accounting majors. Business is silently the largest major on campus Entrepreneurship is a concentration within business 10-20 students per year Classes sizes under 15
What is Working Alongside? Do the assignments concurrently with students Share equally with them the excellent ups and frustrating downs Give and receive critique on all the work, even yours It is not necessarily: Lab assignments Team projects Field research Anything with delegation in it
Is Working Alongside Anything New? Yes and No. Common in grad schools, science and engineering labs POGIL methodology is similar (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry and Learning) Common in fine arts (painting), and performing arts (theater, dance) Common apprentice structure in craft and trade fields (plumbing, electrician, nursing) Uncommon in business education (we focus mostly on large firms) What about entrepreneurship education?
Motivations Blending liberal arts and business Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession (Colby et al., Carnegie, 2011) Business Majors, but with a Twist (Light, WSJ, 2011) Teaching content in classrooms is not enough Wealth or Waste? Rethinking the Value of a Business Major (Korn, WSJ, 2012) Business students need more liberal arts Liberal arts students need more business (Higdon, 2005; Regele & Neck, 2012 ) Maybe the entrepreneurial mindset is orthogonal to business the way we teach it
The First Experiment 8 students in first course in entrepreneurship Create a new venture idea you like and develop it. Immediate Challenges Dont know how to come up with a venture idea Dont know how to develop it Cant do the market research or financials without idea Uncertainty, performance anxiety, and paralysis Solution: Do it with them!
Roaring Brook Market Started modeling how to generate new ideas Make local food systems more sustainable Formed a team outside of class (2 other students) Showed how to ideate and iterate Many paths to same goal What I want to do, what I can do, and how it meets the market Forced to get into the customer/rival research Interviews with businesses, customers Analysis of competent rivals Estimates for costs, sales Organizing issues: legal, conceptual
Roaring Brook as Integrated Food Hub Storage Cooking Processing Grocery/Café Retail Cluster Regional Institutional Distribution (schools, hospitals) Proprietary Farms Jobs Creation Fresh Food Access Local Branding Awareness and connection Partner Farms Hospitality Businesses (restaurant, hotel, tourism) Non-farm products
Create a new social purpose business in local food Research is mixed on whether localism in food is good or sustainable. Work as a participant observer for 3-5 years to assess impact. Begin with a small urban retail grocery/café and build.
Explicit Sustainability Reward and encourage local food producers New farmer entry with specialty crops Shift to grocery items by existing farmers Food business partners Food System Access Urban small city model for fresh food access Multiple points of contact Connection to people and food supply knowledge
Explicit Transparency Complete labeling and source identification. Promotion of all local suppliers. Promoting connection to people.
Results So Far Students were more motivated Clearer performance expectations Open dialogue and discussion All students put their new venture into the pitch competition 2 of 8 students behaving entrepreneurially today Is this a lot in a year? What will happen later on? Move from Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side
But is it better than that? Guide on the Side connotes helping teams of students discover. They work as a team, asking questions of the expert. Expert is still giving hints and asking guiding questions. Perhaps Working Alongside is even more powerful than that.
The Usual Next Steps Seems best for small class sizes, motivated group May destroy formal content knowledge performances (exams) Prof has to try to start a new venture every year!!!! Key word is try! Resources might help with that Assessment is difficult unless we agree on metrics
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