The Innovation Clusters for Entrepreneurship Education (ICEE) is an international research/policy experimentation project to evaluate the impact of entrepreneurship education. The first report about results from the qualitative study is now ready. A total of 70 informants were interviewed face to face. In addition, ministry representatives from each of the five participating countries have reflected on some open questions posed by email.
Teachers in the qualitative part of the ICEE research underlined that through the JA company programme students have been introduced to a new way of learning – project-based, where teamwork and cooperation are among the most important assets. Learning by doing is a new approach for most of the students, and the teachers observe a noticeable progression made by the students from the beginning of the school year to the end in terms of handling the many project challenges. Teachers relate to the students in a more respectful way as a result of gaining a closer relationship with the students and following their learning processes up close. Teachers and students find themselves on more equal terms, with relationships that are more informal and cooperative in nature. Some teachers also highlight the pedagogical advantages of this way of learning, by saying they feel they have gained a greater understanding of their students.
The research in the ICEE is based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. The main data collection is through surveys to students, teachers, parents and business people in Belgium (Flanders), Estonia, Finland, Italy and Latvia. 25 schools participate in the study. The net samples are comparatively large, with 7100 students, 3500 parents, 1000 teachers and 400 business people. The final objective of the ICEE research is to better understand drivers and hindrances related to reaching the European goal of offering every young person a practical entrepreneurial experience before leaving compulsory education (Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan).