Entrepreneurial citizenship education at schoolKorea had been one of the poorest countries after World War II, and now we have attained a rapid economic development unprecedented in world history. But in the meantime, we have failed to establish a citizenship of communication, or consideration and ethics for coexistence. The success-oriented tendency of putting down others to get ahead is prevailing.
Since 1980s, the global economy has been dominated by the neoliberalist economic trend, led by the United States and the United Kingdom. Korea could not be saved from the influence. In the vortex of infinite competition, “rush, rush” culture has dominated the society, and we haven’t had the chance to look at ourselves. That’s why we need a feasible methodology to realize citizenship that suits our situation and citizens’ consciousness.
The key phrases for our society are uncertainty in the global environment, creativity and ambition for growth, and an entrepreneurial citizen should be the goal. The model citizen is full of entrepreneurship.
Why are entrepreneurial citizens important? Entrepreneurs pursue personal interests and social values at the same time. The word “entrepreneur” originates from 16th century Europe. In France and England, it was used to refer to the man in charge of military expedition or the host of banquet. Later, it was widely used to mean an individual who organizes and operates businesses. In the 2000s, social
entrepreneurs who pursue social values are highlighted. They are the citizens who act creatively and actively and value the social week and environment.
Today, the United States has attained both economic prosperity and mature citizens, thanks to the entrepreneurial citizens. In the United States and Europe, not only colleges and universities but also elementary, middle and high schools offer entrepreneurship education.
Now, we need to make entrepreneurship education as a key agenda of the national education policy. It should be expanded to the younger generation, teaching youth entrepreneurship as a main subject area. Instead of urging starting up businesses, the program should focus encouraging pioneering spirit and creativity, nurturing the citizens who value diversity and social values.
Entrepreneurial citizenship education will keep personal and public interests in harmony, improving the flexibility of values.
By Kang Byung-oh, Professor at ChungAng University