Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Foundations & Research


The purpose of this study was to investigate North Dakota secondary school teachers’ beliefs about and experiences with teaching entrepreneurship education to secondary students. The study attempted to describe teachers’ perceptions of their experiences teaching entrepreneurship education to secondary school students.

This study included North Dakota secondary school teachers who had taught at least one stand-alone course in entrepreneurship education during the 1994-95 school year. Data were collected through a mail survey instrument and through personal interviews. The data from the 22 usable survey instruments were analyzed using descriptive statistics. A card-sort technique and open-ended questions were used during ten face-to-face interviews with teachers. Both categorizing and contextualizing strategies were employed to analyze interview data. Matrices and narrative summaries were developed based on interview transcripts and the investigator’s field notes.

Teachers in this study believe that entrepreneurship education is a specialized body of knowledge that prepares individuals for entrepreneurial opportunities, and that entrepreneurs are individuals who possess certain characteristics such as risk-taking, work ethic, initiative, and creativity. They believe that entrepreneurship education should be available for all students and that preparation to carry out the entrepreneurial process is appropriate for advanced secondary students.

Although teachers in this study believe strongly in the importance of entrepreneurship education, they are frustrated by some students’ seeming inability and unwillingness to undertake the coursework. They believe that previous exposure to basic business concepts and entrepreneurial attitudes greatly enhances a student’s ability and interest in entrepreneurship. Teachers indicated that stand-alone entrepreneurship courses are more comprehensive in nature and require more "prep” time than other courses, and are most effectively taught with teaching methods that support creativity, individualization, and hands-on-work experiences.

The findings of this study suggest that entrepreneurship education for secondary students may be improved by a) providing students with greater exposure to entrepreneurial concepts and attitudes throughout the school curriculum; b) introducing students to successful entrepreneurial role models, particularly North Dakota entrepreneurs; and c) assisting entrepreneurship teachers with the identification of problems and possible solutions in designing and implementing entrepreneurial curricula.