According to the article, "A Study of Predictors of Entrepreneurial Behavior," it is difficult to
pinpoint personality factors that indicate an entrepreneurial spirit. In one study cited, a positive relationship was found between emotional intelligence and entrepreneurial orientation. But that is not a solo determining factor. The article also distinguishes between "necessity" entrepreneurs, driven to the idea of developing the self out of personal experience with poverty, lack of employment, or other factors and "opportunity" entrepreneurs who seek out situations in which they can start a professional cause or business.
In 1985, Gartner determined that entrepreneurs are a diverse group; in fact, most studies have been unsuccessful in connecting personality traits, gender, age, or education to entrepreneurial thinking. Some researchers tend to believe that one can develop entrepreneurial thinking based on what is happening around him or her in a social context.
Motivations suggested to thinking entrepreneurially included characteristics such as independence, achievement, and recognizing one's own creative talents. Its seems, then, that there is a relevance to confidence in the process of becoming entrepreneurial, to knowing one's self and the reasons for one's actions and feeling qualified to make decisions for the future. Still, there can be barriers such as finances, shortage of skills, institutional hindrances, and uncertainty of the future.
This brings me to thinking about teachers and entrepreneurial mindsets. If we, in fact, are promoting that more students think entrepreneurially for a future that we cannot predict, it seems that teachers should be the role models in this process.
It is compelling to me to think that there are teachers out there who are "comfortable" with what they are teaching and who do not feel the desire to strive further in an effort to set a futuristic example of forward thinking, self-motivational learning, and risk-taking for their students and colleagues. Teachers today have many resources surrounding them that could enable them to promote and practice the entrepreneurial process. One example is the use of social media. By participating in online communities and networking globally, teachers not only gain relevant and timely knowledge, but they set a precedent with their students that life-long learning and adaptability are part of the new game in education.
And...at the heart of this change in the habits and mindsets of teachers comes commitment to professional development and providing the training that produces practicing and confident individuals that we want shaping the lives of our students who face a future in which these skills are of the utmost importance.