Primary Outcomes (end points)
According to social learning theory, the most powerful way to motivate individuals to engage in a specific activity is to increase their confidence in performing the various tasks that are required in order to execute these activities successfully, that is, their task-specific self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977a,b, 1997). An individual’s level of self-efficacy is, according to Bandura (1997), easiest to influence by either providing the individual with mastery experiences or through vicarious learning.
Vicarious learning, or modelling as it is often called, can effectively be provided by role models. Students may learn how to perform specific skillsets and how to execute specific activities by observing role models. This learning is, however, not solely instrumental. Role models may also affect whether or not the specific behaviour is perceived as desirable and thereby motivate or demotivate the students to engage in the behaviour. However, in order to get a mastery experience it is not enough to only listen to role models, it is necessary to practise the particular behaviour. By getting challenges that increase in complexity in a step-wise manner, the pupils will be increasingly acquainted with the behaviour and will increase their confidence in performing the different tasks that are involved in this behaviour.
We thus expect that both of these educational approaches will have positive effects, however in slightly different ways and on different variables. Compared to the control group both educational programmes will have a significantly higher positive influence on the pupils’ entrepreneurial attitudes and intentions.
H1a: The entrepreneurship programmes will have a positive effect on the pupils’ level of entrepreneurial attitudes and entrepreneurial intentions.
Practical experience with a behaviour does, however, tend to have a sticky effect on the practitioners’ perception of the specific behaviour (Biggs & Tang, 2007; Illeris, 2009). We therefore expect the influence of the experiential programme on its participants’ entrepreneurial attitudes and intentions to remain one year after their participation, whereas this effect will wear off for participants in the role model programme.
H2a: The influence which the experiential programme has on its participants’ entrepreneurial attitudes and intentions will not be significantly different one year after their participation (endline) compared to immediately after their participation in the programme (follow-up).
H2b: The level of entrepreneurial attitudes and intentions for participants in the role model programmes will not be significantly different at baseline and endline.
We furthermore expect that the role model programme will not have any significant effect on the pupils’ entrepreneurial self-efficacy since it typically requires practice to learn skills (Biggs & Tang, 2007). We therefore only anticipate the experiential programmes to have a significantly positive effect on the pupils’ entrepreneurial self-efficacy. Naturally, this effect may in time wear of, but we do expect it to be still significantly higher one year after the completion of the programme compared to the pupils’ baseline levels.
H3a: Participants in the experiential programme will have significantly higher levels of entrepreneurial self-efficacy after they completed the programme.
H3b: Participants in the experiential programme will have significantly higher levels of ESE one year after they completed the programme.