Monday, August 19, 2019

2019 #VWEDU #DTA Student-thinking versus breadwinner-thinking versus entrepreneurial thinking: coming of age in school

Student-thinking versus
breadwinner-thinking versus 
entrepreneurial thinking:
coming of age in school

Students come of age while they are in school.  They are (we hope) preparing to be breadwinners or even entrepreneurs.  The learn school subjects and they learn skills.  They start out thinking as students.  When they finish (we hope) they are thinking as breadwinners or as entrepreneurs.   How could schools teach breadwinner thinking?   
The Empty Classroom
Students to breadwinners



  • "My goal is to satisfy the teacher and so pass this course."
  • "My audience/market is the teacher."
  • That is realistic thinking for someone who wants to get through school.
  • It is not realistic for someone who needs to earn a living.
  • There is no market for pleasing teachers or passing tests, outside of school.
  • Student-thinking only works for students.
  • And the only work products it produces are grades on tests.
  • Unless the teacher asks for work products that show work-related skills.


  • "My goal is to satisfy job requirements and so earn a living."
  • "My audience/market is my employer and whoever will buy what I can produce"
  • That is realistic thinking for someone who wants to support a family.
  • Notice that earning a living is not tied to an employer. Maybe you sell directly.
  • And what you produce does not have to be a tangible product.
  • Increasingly, people are selling their skills.
  • Beyond breadwinner-thinking there is entrepreneurial thinking.
  • Schools teach student thinking; are they teaching breadwinner thinking?

Entrepreneurial thinking

Yes, but students are not breadwinners

  • Students are preparing to be breadwinners. 
  • At least, we hope they are doing that, whether they realize it or not.
  • If they are thinking about that long term goal, they may wonder how to seek it.
  • Project based learning has obvious connections with that goal.  
  • Students can practice working with others; they can practice project planning.
  • And practice all the other skills that are needed to carry out a project.
  • They can have a portfolio of completed projects to show prospective employers.
  • The portfolio shows what they can do.  And employers hire for what people can do
  • Does Higher Education Still Prepare People for Jobs?
  • The article above lists some skills needed for white collar work.  
  • These skills can be practiced by project-based learning.  
  • Practicing breadwinner skills can encourage breadwinner thinking.
  • Especially if the students recognize the value of the skills.



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