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21st century skills



In 2008, the European Commission made a series of proposals aimed at better targeting schools for the competencies that the 21st century demands. These are competencies that suit a rapidly changing society; the so-called 21st century skills. Education in Europe faces the challenge of supporting the shift from a knowledge economy to an innovation economy[1]. In this innovation economy it is all about generating new ideas through collaboration, creativity, technological applications and entrepreneurship. Consider, for example, the phenomenon of 'user-generated content', in which users themselves produce and exchange knowledge via social media such as Wikipedia, / WordPress, YouTube, FaceBook and Twitter.


Connecting to an innovation economy requires a different structure of education than is currently the case[2]. After all, regular education rarely applauds when students come up with and decide for themselves. This is different at the entreprenasium. The entreprenasium is a school of enterprising people. Enterprising people generally have a productive learning style. They start innovations from their creativity and entrepreneurship.


The entreprenasiast builds a head start; with regard to subject matter, with regard to self-management, learning to learn and planning, with regard to the processing of the inevitable setbacks and with regard to the skills that the 21st century demands. A students is offered the opportunity to work with components from higher education during his school career. The business world craves employees who know how to set themselves up in an enterprising way. This attitude is cherished and developed with care and attention at the entreprenasium.


21st century skills


When we talk about the 21st century skills, we focus on the skills - and the link with knowledge and attitudes - that are necessary to optimally participate in the future society. We can divide these skills into working together, communicating, creating, thinking, participating and dissolving[3]. These skills are linked to concepts (knowledge) via language, arithmetic, ICT and the core courses. An enterprising, involved and inquisitive attitude is asked.


"If someone comes to you with a shiny toolbox, you do not know if he will build a nice house for you!"
That is why we work with entrepreneurs portfolios in which we show evidence through concrete activities and products. This method of reporting progress fits better with the 21st century skills than the traditional method of testing.

Next practice

An enterprising school will want to develop pupils more broadly than purely from the (core) subjects. These core subjects are supplemented on a entreprenasium; not with extra courses, but with the learning and stimulation of extra (learning) skills, creativity, citizenship, leadership and entrepreneurship (the 21st century skills). Participating pupils thus develop socially meaningful initiatives. The entreprenasium is an example of how education can be organized in such a way that it optimally prepares pupils for a life in the 21st century. The 21st century skills come back in a coherent way.


Entrepreneurial Learning

In learning to learn entrepreneurial, students look at how they can achieve learning objectives from mainstream education through entrepreneurial projects. The supervisors stimulate their curiosity and see and seize opportunities. The entreprenasiasts may start their own business and link this to the learning objectives of the various subjects. This makes learning more interesting, appeals to all 21st century skills, and the material also stays that way longer.

Coat rack

If you enter entrepreneurial education, the 21st century skills will automatically enter the organization as vision and strategy. The entreprenasium can immediately be a stepping stone for the individual initiatives that exist in the school regarding 21st century skills.


The existing curriculum at schools offers the possibility to shape the 21st century skills in its own way, but gives little structure to this. In the example curriculum for the entreprenasium on this wiki, the 21st century skills are explicitly mentioned in the learning objectives in full width and the methodology is aimed at purposefully. Creatives and solutions in particular have a prominent place in entreprenasium curriculum, while these often receive the least attention in traditional education.