Academic journal article Interdisciplinary Journal of e-Skills and Lifelong Learning

Enhanced Critical Thinking Skills through Problem-Solving Games in Secondary Schools

Academic journal article Interdisciplinary Journal of e-Skills and Lifelong Learning

Enhanced Critical Thinking Skills through Problem-Solving Games in Secondary Schools

Article excerpt


The Growth of Entrepreneurial Thinking

The use of games in the classroom has developed at a quickening pace since the 1990s but has attracted more attention recently as pedagogical methodologies have evolved and particularly even more so around business education (Greco, Baldissin, & Nonino, 2013; Hainey, Connolly, Boyle, Wilson, & Razak, 2016). Games may be used in combination with any other pedagogy to enhance its effectiveness defined as:

... the innovative learning approach derived from the use of computer games that possess educational value or different kinds of software applications that use games for learning and education purposes such as learning support, teaching enhancement, assessment and evaluation of learners (Tang, Hanneghan, & Rhalibi, 2009, p 3).

The research and study of entrepreneurship as a discipline over the last few decades have held its own ground in academe, even upstaging other areas of economic studies due to the steady growth of interest in its field. The collective importance of entrepreneurs, particularly within the emerging economies of nations around the globe (including Vietnam), highlights the importance of an education in entrepreneurship for their citizens (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor [GEM], 2014). Entrepreneurship is the key to a country's economic growth (Faggian, Partridge, & Malecki, 2016; Minniti, 2008). Projections are leaning towards the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) surpassing the big G7 economies (USA, UK, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, and Japan) by the year 2050 driven by the grassroots entrepreneurial mindset of the developing BRIC nations (Jakovljevic, 2016; D. Wilson & Purushothaman, 2003). Perhaps entrepreneurship education should not be considered as important only for tertiary level students but should also include secondary school students to provide an opportunity for those students that may not be able to attend higher education for whatever reason.

Entrepreneurial Thinking in the Classroom

The reported number of universities and colleges in the USA that offered entrepreneurship as part of their curricula had ballooned from its humble beginnings of a mere dozen or so in the 1970s to more than 1600 by the end of the 20th century (Katz, 2003) and has since increased in number to over 2100 institutions by 2010 (Seppanen & Gualtieri, 2012). At the K-12 level, progress was reported in the US that shows between 2009 and 2015 the number of schools providing standards, guidelines, or proficiencies increased from 19 states to 42 states. In that same 7-year period, the number of high schools requiring an entrepreneurship course increased from 5 to 18 states (JAUSA, 2015).

In developing nations, the number of schools offering entrepreneurship programs falls far behind the West. Vietnam is a typical example of this. Entrepreneurship is not part of the mainstream curriculum in the national universities or secondary schools around the country. Conducting a simple Internet search for Entrepreneurship programs offered at the tertiary level in Vietnam reveals only a handful of hits from the top tier institutions. In regards to the topic of entrepreneurship, the general sentiment of the university students surveyed by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) across Vietnam in 2014 was their 'fear of failing' in starting a business due to their lack of entrepreneurship or even a basic business education. At 55%, the number of students reporting this sentiment, compared to other students surveyed globally, is considered very high for this demographic in conjunction with their feeling of having only limited entrepreneurial capabilities. "It clearly shows that Vietnam should train and equip more business knowledge for the people, starting when they are pupils and students. And thus, it would help young people to be more confident in engaging in entrepreneurship. …

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