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The assessment of enterprise education in the secondary education sector: A new approach?

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Purpose ‐ Although the assessment of enterprise education activities has been widely highlighted as a key area of concern, it continues to be under represented in the literature. Questions remain as to how educators seeking to monitor student progression can capture quality data and measure relevant aspects of development, often leading enterprise education to be monitored rather than assessed. This article seeks to explore the challenges of assessing enterprise education in the secondary education sector. It aims to provide useful insights to help practitioners understand how to evidence the impact of enterprise learning by students. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper first presents a critical review of the existing literature with insights from specialist practitioners sourced through an online survey and a seminar. This provides a broad review of the field from a practitioner standpoint focusing on current assessment techniques and standards. Using these data a conceptual pedagogy is proposed for the delivery of enterprise education and a methodology for its assessment, to be developed in future work. Findings ‐ A critical review of the assessment of enterprise education is presented. This exposes challenges of a confused field, with pockets of good practice in schools often not shared or understood out of context. The development of a novel pedagogical model for teaching enterprise education is proposed, linked to a prototype assessment methodology which presents a new approach for enterprise teaching and learning. Research limitations/implications ‐ The work is limited at this stage since participants in the research were drawn from one geographic area in the East of England, and examples of qualifications reviewed were not exhaustive, but these limitations can be addressed in future research. Practical implications ‐ The paper provides a conceptual model for structuring enterprise education which may have relevance across the secondary sector and beyond. Originality/value ‐ The article investigates the problems of assessing enterprise in secondary education, examining what does and does not work, and providing practitioners with useful guidance. In this important topic it is vital that new approaches are developed which can create a broader debate especially at a time of such great change in the educational landscape. This paper provides a platform for further development in the field.
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Keywords: Assessment; Education; Enterprise; Schools; Secondary; Secondary education; Teaching; United Kingdom

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-11-22

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