This research is a qualitative study with the descriptive-analytical method conducted in the following two stages:
- Stage 1:
Initially, the components of entrepreneurial intention were extracted based on the existing models in valid official documents and research literature. These components are shown in
The Studied Entrepreneurial Intention Indexes in This Research
Row Entrepreneurial Intention Indexes Elements 1 Recognition of complexity The perceptive map, knowledge structures, cognitive images, and uncertainty in the environment 2 Attitude (intention toward behavior) Intention to succeed, the perceived personal control (the internal control center), the perceived self-esteem, creativity and innovation, discern, and utilize the opportunity 3 Style recognition How to perceive, think and solve problems, learn and communicate with others 4 Perceived behavioral control (Pragmatism) An individual’s intention to think on a decision 5 Spiritual intelligence Critical existential thinking, creating individual meaning, transcendental awareness, developing awareness 6 Mental norms Assertive beliefs on the definite behavior based on cultural attitudes, individuals attitude, social networks, family, friends, colleague, and others
- Stage 2:
Then, based on the extracted components, a semi-structured interview was conducted with a statistical sample of the research.
The statistical population of the study consisted of all the teachers of the Technical and Vocational University. In accordance with the objective of this research, the sampling was targeted, using the snowball method. The criteria for the selection of the instructors were a minimum of 10 years of continuous technical and vocational instruction at the University and a minimum of master's degree in relevant fields. Therefore, each interviewee introduced other instructors with relevant experience to the aim of the research. The interview was conducted to achieve data saturation and two other interviews were conducted to ensure this saturation. A total of 9 interviews were conducted, and the last two were removed due to the overlap with the results of the other interviews.
Faculty members were interviewed regarding the main elements of curriculums and their relevance with entrepreneurial intention indexes.
In the third stage, the interviews were recorded in the written form, and the researchers’ designated concepts were extracted from the texts of the interviews. To ensure the validity of these concepts, they were returned to the interviewees and were approved by them. Then they underwent qualitative content analysis as valid research data.
The qualitative approach was used to collect data, and the faculty members of Technical and Vocational University (Enghelab-e Eslami Technical College and Dr. Shariati Technical College) were asked a number of questions in semi-structured interviews.
The criteria for selecting a statistical sample were at least ten years of continuous teaching at the Technical and Vocational University, a minimum master’s degree, and willingness to participate in the research. The interviewees were assured that their personal information would remain confidential, the information obtained from the interview would be used solely for scientific research, and the published results would only be used for improving the quality of the curriculums. For these aims, ID codes were used instead of the participants’ actual names. To conduct this research, we obtained permission from the university officials, and the interviews were conducted with the consent of all the participants. The results of the interviews are presented in two parts based on the research questions in
Tables 2 - 4.
The Results Obtained from Interviews About the First Objective
Code Objectives Contents of Curriculum Teaching Methods Evaluation 1 Practical and scientific learning of jobs (job creation), learning skills to participate in workplace Based on the educational field, including professional, general, and practical courses Speech (questions and answers) and pervasive presence in workshop (the instructor’s initial explanation is followed by the students’ participation in scientific activities under his/her supervision) Written and practical exam, project submission 2 Learning a specific profession and job, learning skills Based on the previously indicated chapters, the issues related to the mentioned profession, including general, professional, and practical courses Explanatory, speech, practical work in the workshop Written and practical exam, regarding the desired skill 3 Learning skills in an academic environment means that both professional academic knowledge and manual skills are taught General, professional, and workshop courses Explanatory, speech, learning in the workshop Written and practical exam in workshop courses 4 Learning jobs scientifically, readiness for the presence in a workplace as a specialist Professional and practical courses related to the academic field; General courses for all fields. The syllabi were predetermined Explanatory, question and answer Written and practical exam in workshop courses, project submission 5 Readiness to participate in workplace, learning techniques, and professions It includes the practical and scientific knowledge of the academic field, which is predetermined Speech and practice in the workshop Written and practical exam 6 Learning techniques and professions, job training General, professional, and workshop courses Speech, explanatory, question and answer Written and practical exam, project submission 7 Readiness to participate in the job market. Learning a profession based on the careers in job market The predetermined syllabi and the content of each course are determined by it. It includes general, specialized, and practical courses Explanatory, working at workshop, question and answer Written and practical exam; project submission
The Results Obtained from an Interview About the Second Objective
Code Objectives Contents of Curriculum Teaching Methods Valuation 1 The objectives of the curriculums were formulated based on the professions and job fields, and incorporate entrepreneurship debates in terms of employment The syllabi are clear and some of them are not suited to the present condition of the job market. The entrepreneurship idea is not present in the topics, unless an instructor in a particular field discusses market issues in his/her class Project submission methods and some practical activities that lead to production are suitable for motivating students toward entrepreneurship. They are applied in some courses Evaluation methods are applied to assess the learners’ knowledge and skills in their educational field 2 Academic disciplines in the Technical and Vocational University for employment in the job market The contents of the courses are derived from the specialized topics of the courses and skills required for an occupational field. The general debates on entrepreneurship are provided in entrepreneurship courses Teaching-learning activities depend on the related courses. In some courses, particularly the practical ones, such activities enhance the students’ motivation toward entrepreneurship No. Except for those courses whose evaluation method involves the implementation of a project 3 The main objective in the curriculums of the Technical and Vocational University is learning an occupation that results in employment or recruitment in factories. Entrepreneurship was mentioned as a general objective of this University The contents of professional courses are based on the special concepts in such courses, and entrepreneurship is not mentioned in their contents. The entrepreneurship course is taught separately in the entrepreneurship course unit Yes, but in practical courses. Some practical courses draw the learners’ attention to the job market. The theoretical courses are mostly presented as speech The evaluation methods mostly assess the learner’s knowledge in that skill, and play no role in motivating them toward entrepreneurship 4 The main objective is to learn the required skills for an occupation, which is fully aligned with entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is the result of learning a profession The contents of the courses are specialized and related to learning a profession. Entrepreneurship is taught independently in other course units Learning-teaching activities are explanatory and in the form of speech. In some cases, the instructor creates motivation toward entrepreneurship. However, in general, that is not the case Evaluating the project and workshop skills can help the students to become entrepreneurs 5 The main objective of the curriculums in each field is to teach skills. Entrepreneurship is also a part of the curriculums The entrepreneurial concepts are taught in the entrepreneurship course. The other courses are specialized and related to the learners’ disciplines Yes. In some cases, the student is more inclined to become an entrepreneur, depending on the course and the lecturer’s explanations. But it seems less likely in theoretical courses No. Evaluation methods are not related to entrepreneurship, unless, we consider a person’s skills as a factor in becoming an entrepreneur 6 Entrepreneurship is one of the most important objectives of this University. Therefore, the entrepreneurship course is included alongside other courses in various fields Entrepreneurship course is included in the curriculum of every field. However, it is not integrated into other courses. Every course focuses on its own relevant subjects Learning-teaching activities are explanatory and in the form of speech. Practical activities take place only in practical courses. It cannot be claimed that they make students as entrepreneurs No. It is not relevant to developing the intention in students to become entrepreneurs 7 The main objective of the curriculums in this University is to learn an occupation. By learning an occupation an individual is more likely to become an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is stated among the objectives of the curriculums The contents of the curriculums include specialized, general, and workshop courses. Entrepreneurship course is also included in every field. Entrepreneurship concepts are taught in only in the entrepreneurship course Workshop activities can increase this potential in students Evaluating practical courses can help an individual with entrepreneurship intention. However, the evaluation is generally used to assess learning rather than developing the entrepreneurial intention
The Results of Analyzing the Interviewees’ Answers Based on the Entrepreneurial Intention Components and Elements
Row Index Elements Sampling Based on Results of the Interview Objectives Content Teaching Method Valuation 1 Cognitive complexity Perceptive map * - - - Cognitive structures * - - - Cognitive image * - - - Uncertainty in the environment * - - - 2 Attitude (intention toward behavior) Intention to success * - * - Internal control center * - - - Self-esteem * - - - Creativity and innovation * * - - Identifying and seizing the opportunity * * * - 3 Style cognition How to perceive - - - - Thinking and problem solving * * - - How to learn and communicate with others * * - - 4 (Pragmatism) An individual’s intention to implement a decision * * - * 5 Spiritual intelligence Critical thinking * - - - Making personal meaning - - - - Transcendental awareness * - - - Developing awareness - - - 6 Mental norms An individual’s mental beliefs based on others’ opinions * - - - The individual's subjective beliefs based on social and cultural attitudes * * - -
Data triangulation method was applied to verify the accuracy of the data obtained from the interviews. Therefore, in tandem with an analysis of the interviews, the syllabus of the entrepreneurship course at the Technical and Vocational University also underwent a qualitative content analysis, based on the components of entrepreneurial intention and previous studies on the curriculum of this university.
In analyzing the syllabus of entrepreneurship course (The syllabus that was approved and officially announced by TVU in 2016), the main criteria were the use of the components of entrepreneurial intention (
Table 1), or equivalent terms in aims, contents, methods, and evaluation methods. Table 5 displays the results of the syllabus analysis for the Entrepreneurship Course, based on the components of the entrepreneurial intention. The research data were collected from September 2017 to September 2018.
Case Study of Entrepreneurship Course Syllabus Versus the Components of Entrepreneurial Intent
Row Component Elements Examples in the Entrepreneurship Course Syllabus 1 Cognitive complexity Perceptive map *** Cognitive structures *** Cognitive image **** Uncertainty in the environment Dangers and factors of entrepreneurs’ failure 2 Attitude (intention toward behavior) Intention to success Attractions and motivational factors of entrepreneurship (entrepreneurial motivations) Internal control center What is the internal control center? Self-esteem *** Creativity and innovation Elements and process of creativity; the necessity of creativity role; creativity development; obstacles to creativity; patterns of Elbresht and Amy Bailey; Teaser knowledge; innovation and its process; the difference between innovation and creativity; all types of creativity; levels of innovation Identifying and seizing the opportunity Arrangement and leadership in business, marketing research; advertisement and its objectives; advertising media 3 Style cognition (logical-intuitive) How to perceive - Thinking and problem solving Brainstorming technique, reverse brainstorming technique; Delphi technique; synectics technique; fishbone technique; Scamper technique How to learn and communicate with others Organization and leadership in business 4 Perceived behavioral control (pragmatism) An individual’s intention to implement a decision Business management stages; planning to establish and run a business; commercial and non-commercial business; all types of commercial corporation and their responsibilities; regulations for the establishment of the commercial corporations; business laws; trademark; the benefits of trademark; the concept of the exclusive right, copyright laws; financial management, financial activity, capital resources; balance sheet (asset-debt-capital), profit and loss account, income and expenses; break-even point; marketing and its tools, the characteristics of a good advertisement, methods of selling more, finding more customers; establishing and running small businesses; methods of changing them to the big businesses-one-page job plan 5 Spiritual intelligence Critical thinking - Making personal meaning - Transcendental awareness - Developing awareness - 6 Mental norms Mental beliefs of an individual based on others’ attitude Economic, social, cultural and moral effects of entrepreneurship The individual's subjective beliefs based on social and cultural attitudes Economic, social, cultural and moral effects of entrepreneurship
Data analysis method in this research was qualitative content analysis in which the concepts and themes relevant to the research objectives were extracted from semi-structured interviews. Then they were compared with the previous documents (the ones describing the curriculums of Technical and Vocational University) and the syllabus of the entrepreneurship course, using the data triangulation method.
3.1. Sampling Method and Volume
The sampling method of this research was purposive and the selected population was the people who taught formally in the Technical and Vocational University, who were willing to take part in the interview and who had authority over the curriculum of this university. In addition, chain sampling method was used in this interview, according to which a researcher can seek the participants’ assistance to find more participants with greater access to data (
10). 3.1.1. Data Collection Tool
A semi-structured questionnaire was used in this research. The questions of the interview were prepared based on the objective of this research and were modified and confirmed based on the views of the curriculum faculty members (content validity). Data triangulation method was applied to determine the reliability of the data obtained from the interviews.
3.1.2. Data Analysis Method of the Research
The qualitative data analysis was conducted by interview content analysis. The stages of interview content analysis process were based on Krippendorff’s idea (
11), including data collection, data reduction, deduction, and analysis.