1. Discuss two points on which Robinson, Zhao, and Pink would agree about the entrepreneurial spirit and developing that disposition in youth.
Zhao and Robinson agree that in today’s society, there is a poor utilization of talent. In many occupations, employees are not encouraged or allowed to use their gifts and talents for the purpose of improving the process or product of their job (Zhao, 2012). Robinson claims that we are “in a crisis of human resources” (TED Talks, 2010). Our current methods prohibit employees from developing hidden talents or improving ones they currently use. Our current method of educating, which lacks an emphasis on entrepreneurial skills, produces ill-equipped youth for the current job market and is evidenced in an increased youth unemployment rate (Guo, 2013). We can readily document a decreased amount of creativity, limited skills which directly relate to problem solving, and a reduced self-confidence in students. Likewise, we have adults who lack entrepreneurial qualities. Similarly, Robinson and Pink feel that we need to discard the current model of education and create a new one; a model that incorporates agricultural thinking and promotes intrinsic rewards. As Pink reveals, science has shown that extrinsic rewards aren’t successful in producing the employee attributes or results employers are searching for (Arkell, 2012). Education needs to be customized to the student and encourage rewards based on self motivations. This will generate adults who will be passionate employees concerning their process and/or product. The models we give students now should develop the entrepreneurial spirit they will need later to be self-motivated adults. Entrepreneurship is not an attribute one is born with but one that is cultivated and nurtured; a process that takes a lifetime to develop and occurs in stages (Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, 2004). Likewise, the entrepreneurial spirit is not something that can be learned from a textbook or a curriculum. Entrepreneurial education involves real-world learning and applications. In order for the adults of tomorrow to be ready to assume or create new forms of employment, we need to begin equipping our youth of today with the tools and opportunities for entrepreneurial learning.


Arkell, M. (Producer). (2012). Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation (Video file). Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esvaP9LehB4

Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education. (2004). Nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit. Retrieved October 10, 2014, from: http://www.entre-ed.org/Standards_Toolkit/nurturing.htm

Guo, J. (2013, August 14). Tackling youth unemployment through entrepreneurship: A call for innovative spirit, voices, and actions from global youth. Retrieved October 10, 2014, from: http://blogs.worldbank.org/youthink/tackling-youth-unemployment-through-entrepreneurship-call-innovative-spirit-voices-and-actions

TED2010. (2010, February). Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution. Retrieved from: http://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution#t-47678

Zhao, Y. (2012). World class learners: Educating creative and entrepreneurial students. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin

3. Zhao discussed many aspects of our changed world and the reason for such high unemployment rates all over the world, even among those with a college education. Research some changes in education over the last 25 years and discuss how they have affected the unemployment of many teachers and/or why many leave the profession.
Legislation is primary reason for the drastic changes in education. According to several sources, the No Child Left Behind legislation was flawed from its inception (Meador, 2014) and has placed unrealistic expectations on teachers as well as what they teach in the classroom. Likewise, the Common Core Standards have forced teachers to adjust what and how they teach content. The autonomy that teachers once boasted as an attribute for becoming a teacher no longer exists. Teachers no longer feel respected nor do they possess influence over content or instructional practices. The rigor that these laws present to new and established teachers has caused an air of frustration and dissatisfaction (Meador, 2014), such that many educators have left the teaching profession. Coupled with budget cuts at the federal and state levels, many districts are forced to cease funding for educational programs and salaries, forcing some educators to abandon their classrooms. The rates for teachers looking for employment outside of education is higher than those for nurses, lawyers, engineers, or architects. Education has always looked to standardized testing as a litmus of what and how much students are learning. However, the emphasis placed on current testing practices and their results has evolved into performance based evaluations for teachers. The jobs of many teachers have fallen victim to their students’ poor performance on standardized tests. Other reasons reported for teachers leaving their jobs include lack of support from administrators, school safety, tenure, lack of training and mentorships, stressful working environments of low-income schools, and student discipline challenges (Graziano, 2005).


Graziano, C. (2005). Public education faces a crisis in teacher retention. Edutopia. Retrieved October 6, 2014, from: http://www.edutopia.org/new-teacher-burnout-retention

Meador, D. (2014). A Veteran educator’s view on changes in education. Retrieved October 6, 2014, from: http://teaching.about.com/od/pd/fl/A-Veteran-Educators-View-on-Changes-in-Education.htm

Neason, A. (2014, July 23). Half of teachers leave the job after five years. Here’s what to do about it. Huffington Post. Retrieved October 6, 2014, from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/23/teacher-turnover-rate_n_5614972.html

Provini, C. (2014). Why are teachers leaving the profession? Education World. Retrieved October 6, 2014, from: http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/why-are-teachers-leaving-profession.shtml

Zhao, Y. (2012). World class learners: Educating creative and entrepreneurial students. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin

4 thoughts on “Blog 2: What is an Entrepreneur?

  1. Heather Korrell

    Karen, you have some great insights in this blog. You are so right about us not focusing on students talents and helping them find their gifts. I do not think that we allow the students time to find their talents and use them accordingly. In fact, I find that most of my time is spent trying to work on students weaknesses. with the RTI programs in place, and only a small percentage of students getting GT services, we do not spend enough time focusing on students real talents and helping them discover what they are actually good at. While the common core standards claim to make students college and career ready, I think it really just gives them knowledge without understanding of how to use the knowledge and what to use the knowledge to accomplish. The education system is in dire need of the entrepreneurial spirit.

    Your insights on part 2 are staggering, yet so true. Our education focus is so narrow, there is little room for opportunity, creativity, and risk. We are limited by standards and standardized testing. I also see the issues of budget cuts everywhere. We work in a profession where we have should have the most creative freedom, and yet we have the least. We lack resources to truly help kids become ready for the real world. We are penalized for student work when that may not be what the students are actually good at. Imagine if we could help students do what they want to do, and they were assessed on how well they could do what they want to do. I think the results would be very surprising. The big question still remains, how do we transform the mindset of education?

  2. Cynthia (Cindy) Scott

    Karen you are on the mark with your comments ” Entrepreneurial education involves real-world learning and applications. In order for the adults of tomorrow to be ready to assume or create new forms of employment, we need to begin equipping our youth of today with the tools and opportunities for entrepreneurial learning.” With the push to be college and career ready not only do common core classes need to insure understanding of concepts but to direct students to apply concepts to real-world activities, open their minds to explore their talents using the concepts learned. It is difficult I know as an instructor to change OUR mindset on our methods of presentation but it will be necessary to incorporate methods for the entrepreneurial spirit for our students. But the challenge will be well worth the effort.

  3. Melissa

    I think students do poorly because teachers’ hands are tied. I am sure teachers recognize creativity in students but are restricted in what they can do. They have a job to do. Teachers are at the mercy of lawmakers just like the students. Their creativity is wasted as well.

  4. Kristina Jewell

    You are so right that being an entrepreneur cannot be learned in a textbook. I think it was in the first chapter that Zhao says that our natural reaction to needing entrepreneurs is to implement an entrepreneur curriculum in schools, which could make the situation worse by stifling students’ creativity. The entrepreneurial qualities can be taught with meaningful educational experiences that give students a chance to be creative, independent, and explore their talents.

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