The purpose of this qualitative phenomenology study is to explore the perspective of entrepreneurial educators in Southeast Louisiana who teach students in grades 9-12, related to how their entrepreneurial experiences have influenced their pedagogical approaches. There is a gap in our knowledge and understanding of how the lived experiences of entrepreneurs can affect teachers' instructional approaches to introduce the art of entrepreneurship in its many manifestations. The Constructivist learning approach and Kolb's experiential learning theory (1984) are influential in this dissertation. The theoretical framework for this study is an experiential learning theory which helps us understand the impact of the participants' lived experiences. The phenomenological analysis given generated eight themes: (a) engaging activities; (b) business management capabilities; (c) entrepreneurial capabilities; (d) integrating entrepreneurship experience into curriculum; (e) external partnerships; (f) learning by doing; (g) learning from others; and (h) resources and materials. There were nine takeaways as a result of the findings; (a) participants value resources and materials that will enable them to share their lived experiences and enhance student learning outcomes; (b) participants place a high emphasis on student participation in "action-oriented" activities that help the development of entrepreneurial or job skills; (c) to supplement what they are already learning, the participants bring in a variety of other external resources and materials into the classroom to enhance learning outcomes; (d) participants leverage external relationships in order to improve the educational opportunities available to students; (e) participants who have previous experience in business management or entrepreneurship incorporate their real-world knowledge and expertise into their teaching methods; (f) when students are actively engaged in the learning process by participating in entrepreneurial activities, their education is enhanced; (g) when students are able to learn from others, their own learning is accelerated; (h) integrating the lived experiences of entrepreneurship educators enhances student learning outcomes; and i) educators or administrators with experience in entrepreneurship facilitate professional development training for educators to guarantee that training includes the real-world knowledge of an entrepreneur. Interview findings and takeaways were used to make recommendations for future research. The findings will help entrepreneurial educators and school administrators identify activities, external partnerships, materials, and resources that work best in the classroom. These insights can also improve student learning and consistency in entrepreneurial education.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Entrepreneurship; Educators--Education, Secondary; Education, Secondary--Louisiana

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Stephen Kirnon