Book Reviews

The Entrepreneurial Educator

by Robert J. Brown and Jeffrey R. Cornwall


Reviewed by Ernie Jean
Retired Assistant Professor, University of Montana, Missoula, Mont.

The Entrepreneurial Educator is an interesting presentation of a process in education that may simply change what administrators at all levels do.

Authors Robert J. Brown and Jeffrey R. Cornwall describe a movement in education that will increase in importance as professional accountability grows. These academicians define entrepreneurship as the process of taking advantage of opportunities for the benefit of stakeholders. However, the entrepreneurial enterprise in K-12 education is different from that seen in the business world.

Brown, professor of educational leadership at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, and Cornwall, endowed chair of entrepreneurship at the same university, make the case that entrepreneurship takes two forms: individual entrepreneurship (interpreneurship) and entrepreneurship within an organization (extrapreneurship). The former occurs when an individual within a large organization practices individual entrepreneurship despite the organization not being ready or willing to participate. Extrapreneurship occurs when the organization is ready to experiment.

The authors do a good job of explaining the major pitfalls of practicing entrepreneurship. They discuss how the school culture often prohibits the creative thinking that's required of an entrepreneur, but spend little time discussing how this culture might be changed.

While Brown and Cornwall present a strong case for the need for entrepreneurs in K-12 education, they don't confront the reality that being an entrepreneurial educator means coming to heads with the prevailing school culture. Often, either the educator gives up because the task of working within the system is too daunting or the system simply beats down the enterprising educator.

(The Entrepreneurial Educator by Robert J. Brown and Jeffrey R. Cornwall, Scarecrow Press, 4720 Boston Way, Lanham, Md. 20706, 2000, 154 pp. with index, $22.50 softcover)