I met with Julie and Nicola on 21st January 2019. I had sent in advance a few pages setting out the central argument of my thesis – examining entrepreneurship education through the lens of the threshold concept framework permits a more conceptual approach, balancing the impact of the prevailing neo-liberal educational environment.
I also had sent through a draft outline structure, setting out what I would be covering in each chapter.
So overall we agreed that my premise holds water but some things need to be teased out more; for example my claim that an entrepreneurial skill set is a form of generic skill set. I am taking a strong position, so I need to add in a strong position statement and explain how I came to that position, frame it.
I need to take the reader through my argument more slowly and expand the sections. I can present it as a personal reflection so it will need less justification, arising from my situation as EBM programme leader. I can signpost which reflections will be picked up and reflected on further (for example; see section 3.5…)
It also needs more signposting to the literature – what I think and what other people have said need to be more clearly differentiated. I also need to make sure that I use less secondary sources – if I am relying heavily on the work of another person, particularly if I am relying on one particular paper, I need to be reading the original paper, not someone else’s take on it.
This applies particularly to Bernstein and Lyotard. Big names are potentially contentious and could derail the viva, so it’s best to leave them out altogether if I am only mentioning them in passing. Otherwise I really need to know what I am talking about. I need to present the work of others properly – or not mention them at all. Especially philosophers or theorists.
I also need to make sure I include a more factual section with numbers/data/dates on entrepreneurship education, policy stuff – key government actions that changed provision, what the drivers of change were, what were the drivers of growth in the availability of entrepreneurship education programmes?
I need to expand on the view that entrepreneurship is more like an art despite being right in the middle of business and directly linked to new venture creation and job creation. There is little evidence of its conceptual development currently in the literature.
Entrepreneurial Skills can be regarded as an extension of employability and as such, applicable to all – a generic skill set, but Entrepreneurship can also mean venture creation very specifically, only relevant to a few.
I need to mention the evangelical side of entrepreneurship education and use it as one way of considering the educator data.
We moved on to practical issues. Julie suggested I thought of a time line for the preparation of a working draft of the first three chapters:
- Introduction to the thesis
- Context of the thesis
I will aim to have this done by the end of February. By the end of the sabbatical at a minimum I aim to have completed my data analysis, and ideally will have drafted everything. Julie and Nicola encouraged me to consider what it was that was essential to be completed in the sabbatical and what was desirable. I need to map out the time available and then fit the work required into that time. This means I might have to leave some sections unfinished, before I move on to the next ones to be done.
We agreed the date for the next supervision meeting.