Academic journal article Trames

The Sources and Dynamics of Emotions in Entrepreneurship Education Learning Process

Academic journal article Trames

The Sources and Dynamics of Emotions in Entrepreneurship Education Learning Process

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Emotions are always present in learning processes, and are triggered by a variety of elements such as personal and contextual factors, instructional strategies, prerequisite knowledge, learning goals, motivation, etc. Hecent studies within the field of education, entrepreneurship education and beyond imply that emotions have a major impact on learning motivation, self-regulation and identity building (Cope 2003, 2005, Efklides and Petkaki 2005, Efklides and Volet, 2005, Gibb 2002, 2010, Heron 1992, Kyro 2005, 2008, Mezirow 1991, 2003, 2006, Pekrun 2005, Pekrun et al. 2007, Pintrich 2004, Pintrich and Zusho 2007, Pittaway and Cope 2007, Pittaway and Thorpe 2012, and others). Many of these studies indicate that even though student emotions develop in the social context, it is still unclear how such a process can be supported so that it enhances student learning, and how negative emotions could be put to productive use (Efklides and Volet 2005, Pekrun 2005). Furthermore, Pekrun (2006) states that many studies focus on a single emotion or single functions of emotions, leading to fragmentation and a lack of a more integrative approach. Kyro (2008) calls for more research on affective constructs in education due to their potential to empower entrepreneurial learning. Similarly, Cope (2003) underlines the need for more research on the social dimension of the learning process and its relation to emotional intensity, as this has an impact on reflection and learning.

Following the line of thought presented above, the aim of this paper is to gain a better understanding of the role and dynamics of emotions in entrepreneurship education learning processes and of the most important sources that are causing these emotions, both negative and positive.

2. Emotions in education and entrepreneurship education

The role of emotions in student learning has recently emerged as an important new field of educational research. Studies have addressed questions such as what emotions are experienced by students, what functional importance these emotions have for learning, and whether modified instruction and teacher behaviour can foster student emotions (Pekrun, 2005). For example, Jarvenoja and Jarvela (2005) identified five different sources of emotion: self-related, context-related, task-related, performance-related and social-driven. Pekrun (2006) and Pekrun et al (2007) introduced the control-value theory of achievement emotions, according to which emotions are directly tied to achievement activities and achievement outcomes. Thus, as they point out, this can be reflected in the enjoyment arising from learning when goals are successfully met or anger about task demands or other pressures. According to Pekrun (2006), activity emotions are associated with on-going achievement-related activities, and outcome emotions are related to the outcomes of these activities. Depending on circumstances, these emotions can be positive or negative, and activate or deactivate learners. Since emotions affect student interest, engagement, achievement, personality development and social climate in different educational settings, they are central to psychological health and well-being (Pekrun 2006). Most importantly, emotions influence student academic performance and are linked to motivation, use of learning strategies and self-regulation (Pekrun et al. 2007).

In line with Pekrun's theory, Pintrich and Zusho (2007) also claim that motivation and self-regulation both play an important role in learning and achievement for college students. Pintrich and Zusho (2007) offer three components that seem to have been widely used in different motivational models:

1) beliefs about one's ability or skill to perform a task (expectancy components),

2) beliefs about the importance and value of the task (value components), and

3) feelings about the self, or emotional reactions to the task (affective components). …

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