Friday, June 3, 2011

What do I mean by entrepreneurship?

In a comment on a previous post Kurt (whose blog is worth visiting) asked what I meant by entrepreneurship. Like all good questions it made me think a little more deeply on the issue- which is the main reason for the existence of this blog in the first place.
For me that word extends to any self initiated activity that interacts with the community in a positive way. It could be economic (and showing the economic importance of the arts is part of it), but it could also be a part of applying an entrepreneurial approach to community involvement, community action or giving.
The idea is that the arts can help students be more aware of their community and connect to it. See themselves as relevant players in building a community. I believe that shared art that crosses personal boundaries shared in new ways can become a vehicle to contain the alienation that kids and adults often feel in their everyday life.
One can argue that our modern school system is a product of the industrial revolution and the structure of the disciplinary approach to school (most obviously in high school) is akin to an assembly line in which each teacher has a specific and narrow task. His output can be measured easily most recently in value-added model suggested by economists (see Kurt's take on this issue here).
What I am arguing is that education and most easily elementary education can strive to create an alternative approach which connects the learner to the community and reduces the alienation not just for the learner but also for the community at large. Art can be such an instruments if we allow and support our students in becoming social and economic entrepreneurs.
Theoretically I am aiming at a sense of agency- a sense that schools (and society) strip away from children instead of finding meaningful ways to foster it.
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