The idea of the model Roboeducation elaborated under the partnership fulfils the teaching entrepreneurship goals established by Hytt and O’Gorman:

  • to increase knowledge on the theory of entrepreneurship;
  • to raising pro-entrepreneurial attitude among students;
  • to prepare students to start their own business raising their specific competencies and attitudes that are essential to run a business.

The model of teaching entrepreneurship by using robots and logic/strategy games is based on the holistic approach to entrepreneurship involving knowledge, skills and attitudes – linking the theory and practice. Entrepreneurial skills and attitudes are the outcome of economic, social and psychological ones. Every lesson conducted with using the model Roboeducation should transform into process of broading the knowledge and shaping sensitivity of individual to create the personality of highly-qualified and entrepreneurial graduates.

The competencies that have already been outlined above are the compilation of cognitive, social and psychological maturity, which contribute to prepare individuals to handle with various everyday situations. There are, therefore, three learning objectives of teaching entrepreneurship:

  • to increase knowledge about the issues related to entrepreneurship – what entrepreneurship is indeed;
  • to raising pro-entrepreneurial attitude among students;
  • to development and strengthening skills, competences and attitudes ensuring the efficient functioning on the labour market.

In today’s society young people face multitude challenges what contributes to developing their experience, establishing adequate skills and diagnosing of strengths and weaknesses. The model Roboeducation enables the process of self-exploration and self-development. It is based on the recognition that every individual is able to work out and develop the pro-entrepreneurial attitude that can be constantly strengthened. The model assumes that the attitudes, skills and competencies are taught and trained in non-formal way what enriches formal learning and is the best chance to learn through experience[1]. This teaching method is not only interesting for the students, but also recommended in the EU Strategy for Youth: Investing and Empowering – A renewed open method of coordination to address youth challenges and opportunities: “Complementary to formal education, non-formal education for young people should be supported to contribute to Lifelong Learning in Europe, by developing its quality, recognising its outcomes, and integrating it better with formal education”[2]. That is why the model is slightly addressed to the students aged between 15 and 24 – who are at the beginning of their entering to the adulthood and also very often express “a preference for being self-employed”[3]. This is the best age to focus on the skills that are to be trained using the model Roboeducation. They are trained by taking part in specific activities that also develop various additional skills: digital skills, programming, construction, designing… Below there are listed the most important ones related to the tasks in the model: the strategic planning, time and risk management, ways of solving conflicts, target-orientation and effectiveness, a teamwork, a multitasking, self-regulation and self-control, relationship building, a self-efficacy, a verbal and non-verbal communication, negotiation and mediation skills.

A model assumption is as follows: its aim is to develop and raise the social competences of individuals, taking into consideration one’s psychological profile. It also increases bookish knowledge of economics, IT, and programming basics. The educator takes over the role of a coach/mentor who helps the participants in implementing their action plan. It is not a typical teacher – he supports the team without being prescriptive or authoritative. His work is limited only to taking care of the participants, watching for their safety, providing them with the specificity of labour, presenting possible solutions, serving to answer any possible questions and support the team etc. Such acting leaves a lot of freedom and flexibility for students to find the best solutions in their projects on their own. The students are treated subjectively – as equal partners.  In order to implement their solutions and stimulate their creativity, the educator forwards them with limited information – only a piece of information that is needed at particular stage of work. Aiming to revise the students’ ideas and solutions, the educator asks open questions and highlights some possibilities without, however, imposing ready-made solutions. In short, the educator plays the supporting and advisory roles.

Thus, Lego, Vex IQ tools and logic/strategy games are only a means to achieve the objective – verifying the students in various arranged situations; self-exploration of themselves in the area of their strengths and weaknesses, predispositions to work, confronting themselves with the challenges of finalization the task in limited time, in the competitive situation.

This particular teaching type – that uses numerous methods at the same time (experimental, team work, brainstorming, design methods etc.) and is strongly oriented on action and assessing all the taken decisions basis on an ongoing – will enrich the process of theoretical training (it is obvious that some theoretical elements should also be included: an introduction about the tools, games and the content of a lesson), will be an opportunity to train the social competences and contribute to each students’ self-analysis as well.

General remarks about the students will become the starting point for one’s work with particular student in the future and will provide ground to further specific counselling sessions.

Innovative tools and use of technology in introducing the content are the biggest advantages of such approach to the topic of entrepreneurship. It has been proved that practical activities – beyond traditional schemes of teaching – cause greater involvement of the participants, and translate into ease of acquiring new knowledge.

The innovative nature of the model is considered in:

        • approaching to the topic of entrepreneurship in an innovative and interesting for the students way;
        • combination of logic/strategy games, robotics and programming;
        • using modern technologies to shape the adequate attitudes and present good practices and appropriate reactions in everyday situations.

Robotics and logic/strategy games (games in general) are very often used in teaching process nowadays. They provide a tool for the development of creativity, creative thinking and strategic management skills, which is confirmed by the number of good practices from European countries. The model, thus, goes beyond the idea of entrepreneurship which is found in the Polish core curriculum of teaching the subject in secondary schools. The entrepreneurship is treated as a set of personal characteristics that cannot be simply taught (such as the definition of inflation or central bank), but ought to be constantly developed.  The model then is thought to promote the active learning by setting up situations in which the group is involved to diverse activities. In this case, games and self-created robots are the means to achieve the goals of teaching. Thanks to these classes students will get to know the mechanisms governing the free market on the one side and learn how to estimate and take a risk at every stage of planning, execution and implementing the project of constructing a robot on the other side. The model its multi-dimensionality owes the staff – involving experts from various fields, representing, among others, universities, educational companies, entities supporting entrepreneurship and NGOs experienced in the implementation of projects related to the topic. Thanks to cooperation of various partners from some European countries the model takes into account European trends in education which directly translates to its attractiveness.

[1] Metody nauczania pozaformalnego uznaje się wręcz za uprzywilejowane, gdyż pozwalają nabywać szeroki wachlarz kompetencji.

[2] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX%3A52009DC0200

[3] Komisja Europejska: Eurobarometr FL354 Entrepreneurship in the EU and beyond [Przedsiębiorczość w UE i poza nią], 9 stycznia 2013 r., pp. 15.

[4] https://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-business-venturing/author-videos/self-efficacy-and-entrepreneurs-adoption

[5] http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/teamwork.html