Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Integrated Article


Doctor of Philosophy




Kim, Mi Song


Teacher entrepreneurship has been receiving growing attention in the field of education over the past 15 years in both scholarly and informal literature. However, the existence of preconceptions, various definitions of the term, and an overall lack of research in the area has resulted in a complex but underdeveloped understanding of the concept. Hence, much attention and clarification are required to recognize who such teachers are and how novice and experienced teacher entrepreneurs act. In chapter two of this study, we start with a systematic literature review of teacher entrepreneurship to recognize the existing state of the field in current literature. We chose to focus on the definition which considers teacher entrepreneurs as those who are entrepreneurial themselves and in their work and can be categorized as social entrepreneurs. A total of twelve competencies and characteristics were extracted from the literature which teacher entrepreneurs exhibit. In chapter three, we qualitatively analyzed a novice STEM teacher entrepreneur’s work throughout her first STEM teaching experience in an informal environment to understand how their professional identity developed as a new teacher and realized that this development closely resembled the self-authorship framework for personal identity development. In chapter four, we qualitatively studied the same novice teacher entrepreneur’s display of entrepreneurial competencies based on results from chapter one with consideration of their identity development framework based on results from chapter two. Chapter four findings showed how novice teacher entrepreneurs differ in exhibiting entrepreneurial competencies in comparison to more experienced teachers, and how length of program and stakeholder expectations were challenges facing the teacher in the informal STEM education environment. Finally, in chapter five, through a detailed conceptual comparison of multiliteracies and teacher entrepreneurship competencies from chapter one, and practical examples from a multiliteracies classroom, we argue how experienced multiliteracies teachers can be considered as an example of experienced teacher entrepreneurs. Because of this similarity, by looking into the entrepreneurship field, we then offer innovative ways to support multiliteracies teachers better. Overall, this study contributes to work on teacher entrepreneurship, STEM informal settings, multiliteracies, and teacher development.

Summary for Lay Audience

When we hear the word entrepreneur, we usually think about someone who starts a business and makes plenty of money. What is normally not explained is that there are different types of entrepreneurs and not all entrepreneurs solely focus on financial gains. The word teacher entrepreneur has gained some popularity over the previous 15 years. However, not everyone knows what it refers to, or even agrees on its definition. So, in this thesis, I investigated what current research on teacher entrepreneurship tells us about these teachers and how they behave. I present the common competencies they have been said to have and study an example of a novice and experienced teacher entrepreneur to better understand their behavior, both theoretically and in action. Using my findings, I also suggest ways to better support new and experienced teacher entrepreneurs.