Opportunities for entrepreneurship education in an era of curriculum change in Ireland: the case of an innovative Irish second level school


  • Morgan P. Danaher University of Limerick
  • Gerard M. Slattery University of Limerick


The research paper highlights a robust model of a pilot Entrepreneurship Education (EE) programme for the new junior cycle curriculum, capable of extended implementation across all years of second level education. The research focus was on how an EE programme could be credibly devised, given the fragmented history of its emergence over recent years. The study identified the key elements of its conceptualisation and structure, to implement it as an integral and holistic contribution to a sustainable EE input. A pilot programme in a flagship school- Innovation,  Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) which received the full endorsement of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment body (NCCA) was examined. Semi-structured interviews took place with all the key designers and implementers of ICE. The findings suggest a novel and credible way to integrate EE into the full curriculum, something unprecedented in Ireland. Necessary supports to achieve this were acknowledged: the link between school culture and an innovative disposition; national validation through the NCCA; links with a diversity of enabling partners; credible CPD and training opportunities; and finally, an objective assessment method for the programme. The study highlights the crucial importance of a broad yet precise definition of EE in line with Irish and EU parameters that will lead to credible learning outcomes for individual students, the economy and society as a whole.