YETI: Young Entrepreneurial Teacher Initiative
The European Union (EU) and its executive body, the European Commission (EC), have long acknowledged the importance of teaching entrepreneurial skills to students (EC 2017; 2014). It is indeed widely believed that this set of skills is decisive for lifelong learning and that if taught from a young age at university, students and future leaders will be enriched with a more innovative and creative mindset both in the social, private and public sectors (EC 2017).
As a consequence, we believe that it is crucial to transfer entrepreneurial skills not only to those seeking a job as classic entrepreneurs but to expand these to all fields of higher education, by empowering a cohort of ITE students to teach these skills to a younger audience. Nonetheless, nowadays there is still a limited recognition amongst EU Member States of policy in favour of EE in Initial Teacher Education (ITE), and the subject remains marginal.
To address these challenges, the Erasmus+ funded project YETI (Young Entrepreneurial Teachers Initiative) targets ITE students in the final stage of their education. These are gathering their first teaching experiences, either through internships or within the in-service induction phase. The project aims to improve the aspiring teachers’ understanding of EE and to empower them to integrate EE in their future schooling. Through our inter-generational cascading approach to EE, we encourage ITE students to act as catalysts for the development of entrepreneurial mindsets and skills of future generations. YETI is a follow-up project of the Partnership for Initial Entrepreneurship Teacher Education (PIETE) Project, that aimed to raise awareness about the importance of entrepreneurship education among ITE educators.
Cross-department and scaling-up approach: YETI applies an innovative co-creational scheme, which functionally combines competences and experiences from the EE and ITE fields of expertise. As a consequence, each Teacher Training Centre involved in YETI – besides the overall collaboration – will partner up with at least one EE expert (HE) partner. Resulting ITE-EE tandems (“YETI tandems”) reflect collaborative varieties for inter-disciplinary co-creation and enjoy of cross-departmental, cross-regional and cross-country approaches and expertise.
Inter-generational cascading approach: all YETI outputs are focused on inspiring ITE students to adopt a catalyst role towards their (future) pupils and raising their ability to effectively engage in entrepreneurial competence development.