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Christy Benson and Gary Palin's research presented in Ireland

Co-authored with colleagues from the Dublin Institute of Technology, the two Elon faculty members make case for more "experiential education."

Gary Palin and Christy Benson


Christy Benson, assistant professor of business law and ethics, and Gary Palin, executive director of the Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and senior lecturer of entrepreneurship, were co-authors of a paper presented June 27 at the 11th World Congress of the International Federation of Scholarly Associations of Management in Limerick, Ireland.

“Understanding the Relationship Between Entrepreneurship Education, Experiential Learning Theory and Business Ethics" was presented by Palin and Benson's colleagues and co-authors from the Dublin Institute of Technology: Thomas Cooney, professor and director of the Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship, and lecturer Kathleen Farrell.

The paper addresses the need in entrepreneurship education to move from traditional instruction toward an experiential learning methodology, utilizing an action-oriented, mentoring and group-work approach to ensure effectiveness. Within this approach, critical thinking and problem solving are recognized as key skills, while it is also appreciated that skill development regarding risk-taking, innovation, creativity and collaboration needs to be valued more.

The paper concludes that there be a greater move towards “experiential learning” so that students gain real life experience as opposed to a traditional classroom approach. Learning should focus on developing creativity, critical thinking and reflection among individuals, which improves motivational skills, entrepreneurial development and ethical behavior.

Eric Townsend,
7/12/2012 8:36 AM