Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (Print ISSN: 1098-8394; Online ISSN: 1528-2651)

Research Article: 2019 Vol: 22 Issue: 4

The Content and Features of the Pedagogical Component of the Activity of the Head of Small Handicraft Enterprises

Nikolay K. Chapaev, Russian State Vocational Pedagogical University

Andrey V. Efanov, Russian State Vocational Pedagogical University

Ekaterina Y. Bychkova, Russian State Vocational Pedagogical University

Yevgeniy M. Dorozhkin, Russian State Vocational Pedagogical University

Olga B. Akimova, Russian State Vocational Pedagogical University

Abstract

The urgency of the research problem is determined, on the one hand, by the need of the domestic economy for personnel with the ability to organize and carry out activities of small enterprises of the craft type, and on the other hand, insufficient study of the phenomenon of pedagogy of entrepreneurship. The purpose of the article is to identify the features of entrepreneurial training of craftsmen’s, sets out the reasons for the need to strengthen the pedagogical training of future head of a small handicraft enterprises. Studying and generalization of the content of craftsman’s professional activity, analysis of professional and educational standards and reviewing of foreign and Russian sources is a leading method for studying this problem. Pedagogical components of the craftsman’s activity are revealed the understanding whereof is important for arranging and perfecting of future craftsmen’s professional activity. Materials of this article can be useful for top managers of enterprises which are concerned about the issues of development of the system of personnel learning and training; specialists of state authority bodies in scope of labour and employment; students in the field of craft professions, and for all categories of vocational-pedagogical staff.

Keywords

Craftsman, Craft Activities, Small Handicraft Enterprises, Entrepreneurship Education, Pedagogical Component, Training at the Enterprise.

Introduction

In the modern society featured with dynamicity of economic, social, cultural and technological processes creative entrepreneurship is actively distinguished. In a narrow sense, creative entrepreneurship refers to businesses that operate within the cultural and creative industries (design, architecture, music industry, tourism, advertising, etc.), in a broad sense, creative entrepreneurship involves profiting from the implementation of a new idea, technology, project. R. Florida (2002)-the author of the Creative Class theory, gives the following definition: "it's people who change the future, the creative class makes money by designing and creating something new, and makes it in more autonomous and flexible manner." "If creativity is interpreted as an opportunity to find, create ways and tools for the development of new concepts, ideas and solutions, then the ideal creative sphere is a small and medium-sized entrepreneurship, which acts as a generator of transformation and implementation of ideas into certain material objects. It should be borne in mind that such a transformation should bring tangible benefits. Such cooperation-benefits and creativity–is the starting point of creative entrepreneurship" (Esenina et al., 2018).

A specific type of creative entrepreneurship is handicraft activity, which is understood as a type of entrepreneur’s and/or professional activity aimed at producing of goods (services) with use of special knowledge, skills, technologies and labour-saving tools for satisfying of utilitarian, aesthetic and other needs of individuals or economic entities.

Craft professions, in accordance with Russian National Classification of Occupations of Employees, Positions of Civil Servants and Wage Category, belong to the group of working professions. Unlike industrial workers who perform a limited number of operations, craftsmen shall fulfil various functions: to properly execute customers’ individual orders (functions of high-skilled workers), master all the cycle of technological operations (functions of a production technologist), communicate with suppliers, customers and performers of works (functions of a manager), provide self-employment and create new working places (functions of a small enterprise’s head), thus integrating operational, technological and entrepreneur components of the craftsman’s labour. Unlike entrepreneurs who do not take personal part in the production process, craftsmen are directly involved in making works which are often unique and highly-artistic. They use labour-saving tools and manual labour, apply elements of technical creativity and pass secrets of their mastery to workers of younger generations. Factory-made products are depersonalized, as its potential buyer is not known. An entrepreneur does not know the definite buyer; it is hired employees who will perform selling and attracting of clients. A craftsman makes a product orienting on the customer’s wishes; he communicates with his customer personally and has direct communication with him from the moment of receiving the order to that of delivery of the finished product; moreover, he performs the warranty servicing of his handicraft product and necessary post-warranty repairs thereof. An entrepreneur is aimed at gaining profits; a craftsman aims his activity at periodical gaining but a small-scale profit, as a craftsman depends too much on the market’s state and he cannot have a pre-determined number of orders which would guarantee high revenues (Romantsev et al., 2016). Interest for the state, society and the employer is currently represented by the craftsman as an integral person, a master of high qualification, a specialist competent in his profession, integrating social, professional, technological and pedagogical functions, as a result of which a separate branch of professional pedagogy—the pedagogy of entrepreneurship (professional craftsmanship education).

Historically, a craftsman’s integral activity included the pedagogical component. At the moment of generation of craft guilds, a production primary unit included a master, one or two apprentices and a number of disciples. Apprentices were paid employees, while disciples worked without wages assimilating basics of the mastery. Creative application of one’s own knowledge, skills and habits led a master to creation of a unique handicraft product, and it was only he who could transfer his peculiar technology to his pupils, to teach varying of typical images, combination of consumer properties with the aesthetic and art value of the product, and with folk craft traditions. Depending on difficulty of the handicraft, teaching assumed a long-time discipleship–from 3 to 11 years, plus quite a large number of tests and examinations. Disciples’ involvement into a production process in course whereof vocational training and education took place was a special form of an individual’s preparing for a craftsman’s labour.

The modern craft activity is not an exception, specificity whereof is of the individual-team nature. A team formed from workers of different qualification levels which reciprocally supplementing each other will be able to solve complicated production issues. While possessing a high mastery level, a craftsman transfers his professional knowledge to workers with a lower qualification.

Until recently, apart from organization of manufacture of products on individual orders, coordination of subordinates’ activities was regarded as a craftsman’s main function. However, time requires that a craftsman-production organizer and a craftsman-inspector of labour and technological discipline be replaced with a specialist able to transfer to young workers not only professional knowledge, skills and habits but also socio-professional orienting points, moral values and behaviour motives, i.e., with a craftsman-tutor, guardian, and facilitator.

The purpose of the article is to identify the features of entrepreneurial training of craftsmen’s, sets out the reasons for the need to strengthen the pedagogical training of future head of a small handicraft enterprises.

Materials and Methods

Methods

This study is an empirical assessment of the craftsmen’s experience of work. The quality of craft items is assessed with the involvement of experts.

The empirical pre conceptual study was conducted in the State Autonomous Vocational Educational Institution of Sverdlovsk Region (SAVEI SR) “Ural College of Technologies and Entrepreneurship” and SAVEI of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Territory “Tarko-Salinsky Vocational College”. Both organizations implement experimental education programs on training workers for small-sized craft enterprises. Heads of craft enterprises (70 persons in total, the overall number of employees is 278 persons) and teachers of legal disciplines (65 persons in total) acted as experts.

The Study Stages

The study was conducted in three stages:

 Examining of peculiarities of small-sized craft enterprises and their influence on the process of employees’ educational-professional interaction.

 Highlighting of pedagogical functions understanding whereof is of importance for organizing and perfecting of future craftsmen’s professional activity.

 Elaboration of methodic and methodological recommendations for training of future craftsmen.

Results

Craft enterprises are of great importance for economies of European countries; they are often the largest employers in small settlements and one-factory cities and thus reduce the level of unemployment and allow decreasing runoff of the youth from such places, contributing to growth of the population’s wealth and development of these territories. For instance, in 2017 in Germany more than one million craft enterprises were registered wherein about 5.49 million people were employed and 365,000 were trained as disciples, i.e., 12.4% of all employees in Germany work in the handicraft segment of the economy (Economic significance of the craft, 2017).

Russia’s handicraft segment of the economy is in the nascent stage. Small-sized craft enterprises encounter grave difficulties, mainly due to deficit of the skilled workforce. Lack of the legislative basis and professional standards for handicraft activities does not allow the existing system of entrepreneurship education to train modern craftsman (Romantsev et al., 2016). Due to the specificity of the craftsman’s activity, introducing into the profession and training in appropriate skills and habits may last for many a year. Comprehending of secrets of the trade, elaboration of one’s individual style, systematic skill improvement speak for necessity of the continuous education; enterprises have on their own to arrange on-site training and involve experienced professionals into the process of training.

The size of an enterprise and specificity of its activity have considerable influence of the process of employees’ academic-professional interaction. Craft enterprises, in most cases, are micro-enterprises with a number of workers less than ten. These companies are created and directly managed by the owner–a master, a carrier of knowledge, skills and traditions of the trade. His personality and professional qualification characterizes the firm’s activity and image for the outer world. The master makes products himself, knows all functional fields of the business and is responsible for results of the labour. Identification of the master with the activity and his personal feeling of responsibility also influence the goal of activity and the attitude with customers and employees. There is a special kind of loyalty between them. Quite often, craft enterprises are family ones. Relation of the master with his workers are not purely corporate, they are based on personal confidence and characterized with a direct connection. Efficient functioning is ensured with a certain distribution of roles, good teamwork, the formed system of relations, the adopted procedure of solving matters, settling disputes, etc. Among settings and samples of behaviour, the respect, responsibility, confidence and succession may be listed.

In the process of a master’s individual work with a disciple, analysis of the creative-labour process, “penetration” into the mastery essence and revealing of possible paths of transferring thereof take place. The most important sources of useful information is a finished product/service wherein the master’s knowledge and experience, various forms of commercial intercourse with the master-professional who creates an innovation product, observation of labour processes of most experienced workers with further revealing of their mastery secrets and “master classes” shall be materialized.

On basis of the professional activity analysis and studying of foreign and Russian sources (Ordinance on the job description and the examination requirements in the practical and theoretical part of the master craftsman's hand-crafting exam, 1998; Ordinance on the admission and general examination procedure for the master craftsman's examination and in craft-like trades, 2011; Hannelore & Esenina, 2015; Listvin, 2016; Ronzhina et al., 2016; Zeer & Symaniuk, 2017; Fedorov & Komleva, 2017; De Munck, 2018; Fominykh et al., 2018; Rybakina, 2018; Esenina et al., 2018; Kislov, 2018) the pedagogical components of the craftsman’s activity were revealed which are arranged into four blocks: studying of learning conditions and planning of training, preparing for training and selection of trainees, conducting of training and control of results thereof.

Here we will consider the first block (Block 1) of the pedagogical components of the craftsman’s activity: studying of learning conditions and planning of training. In course of his professional activity, an owner of a craft enterprise–a master encounters the necessity of:

 Planning the need in professional training of personnel on basis of legal acts, collective contracts and corporate terms, making decisions on this matter.

 Substantiating advantages of on-site professional training or training in an educational organization.

 Identifying professions and specialties for training.

 Studying possibilities of the enterprise for on-site training.

 Substantiating the selection of curricula.

 Distributing duties between skilled specialists in scope of personnel training.

To do it, it is necessary to:

 Determine a company’s need in the personnel training.

 Correlate advantages from the training with expenditures.

 Use legal acts, collective contracts and corporate terms when making decisions on professional training.

 Determine goals and tasks, structure and functions of professional training.

 Clarify requirements to professional training and basic terms of training.

 Use flexible variants of training.

 Clarify personal and professional abilities of employees for training of less experienced persons.

 Check suitability of the training centre/working place for conducting training, and take appropriate measures, when necessary.

 Study partners’ abilities for support of the company in scope of training.

Block 2 of the pedagogical components of the craftsman’s activity: preparing for training and selection of disciples. In course of his professional activity, an owner of a craft enterprise–a master encounters the necessity of:

 Development of a training plan with accounting for definite requirements of the company and Students’ individual preferences.

 Determining cooperation spheres, conducting meaningful and organizational coordination with Partners, in particular, with craft and industrial-commercial chambers.

 Applying criteria and procedures of disciples selection.

 Preparing and concluding an apprenticeship contract.

To do it, it is necessary to:

 Determine time and organizational terms of the training.

 Formulate rules of training on basis of production and business processes.

 Develop content of the training.

 Monitor fulfilling of the curriculum and correct it, when necessary.

 Regulate possibilities of cooperation with partners who take part in the training.

 Apply appropriate procedures for selection of candidates.

 Work through possibilities for the career growth of disciples who came to the top.

 Determine rights and liabilities of the apprenticeship contract’s parties.

 Record consequences for the parties in case of early termination of academic and labour relations.

Block 3 of the pedagogical components of the craftsman’s activity: conducting of training, which is most difficult and resource-consuming. It is necessary to:

 Create advantageous conditions for training and motivate employees.

 Select methods and tools for training, premises for classes and work, use them in dependence with the situation.

 Create groups of students and contribute to cooperation in a team.

 Contribute to social and personal development of students; timely find problems and conflicts and take measures aimed at their solving.

 Consider the possibility of receiving additional qualification, reducing of the training duration and early admitting for the examination.

 Evaluate capacities of students, estimate results of the master’s activity and make conclusions about further training.

To do it, you have to:

 Encourage training, motivate and present guarantees to parties of the academic process.

 Examine individual requirements of disciples to the academic process.

 Observe basic didactic principles.

 Conduct production briefings, analysis of case studies and working instructions.

 Render individual assistance in overcoming difficulties in the training and initiate measures of support.

 Reveal and develop talents of disciples, teach in expanded qualification, make propositions on promotion of high-productive disciples.

 Timely reveal typical conflict situations in the process of training, analyze them and apply strategies for constructive conflict management.

 Contribute to adaptation of new workers.

 Adjust the communicative process in a working team.

 Apply methods of reducing stress and alarm.

Block 4 of the pedagogical components of the craftsman’s activity: control of results of the training. It is necessary to:

 Evaluate development of trainees in process of training.

 Evaluate efficiency and the result of training.

 Develop the procedure of the final, repeated or additional examination.

 Identify documents issued upon completion of the training.

The revealed pedagogical components of the craftsman’s activity are ideal. Their formation and development requires a long-time training and self-training which shall be realized both within the basic professional training and within professional development and re-training programs which relate to workers who are already involved in this or that handicraft (Romantsev et al., 2017). We have developed an additional educational module “Legal Regulation of Academic-Professional Interaction of Craft Activity Subjects”. The module’s pattern is presented via a module-based structure and includes the following components: actualizing, value-target, structural-conceptual, and evaluative-reflexive. The module is destinated for students of secondary vocational education who learn in craft specialties–the 3rd course (5th semester). The total maximum load is 36 hours (1 p.o.c.). The proposed number of academic hours is sufficient for giving students the comprehensive idea about the pedagogical component of the craftsman’s activity, and for imagining of the problem and scientific sphere related thereto. Topical saturation of the module allows to disclose the specificity of craftsmen’s functional duties which reflect the pedagogical component of their professional activity. The module can be studied by students having various levels of training. Apart from students, the module may also be offered to a wide circle of specialists who perform their activities in the handicraft sphere, and, possibly, to individuals who wish to broaden their outlook in the appointed theme.

Discussion

A handicraft activity is specific type of creative entrepreneurship, and teaching entrepreneurship is an integral part of professional craftsmanship education. The paper Rönkkö & Lepistö (2016) shows that «enterprise education can develop and enrich the pedagogy of crafts teaching. A craft maker needs to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset when designing and making crafts, a mindset that can encompass the wide perception of possibilities, innovativeness, the accomplishment of a new activity, and risk-taking skills. The entrepreneurial mindset requires the ability and courage to examine contents from new perspectives and to challenge the traditional practices. It involves risk taking, the desire for creative freedom, and an action orientation». «In enterprise education, learning is problem-focused and holistic. A learning process that encourages people to learn by doing develops their problem-solving skills, participation, interaction, and decision making. Craft making includes practice, development, creativity, innovativeness, and the problem-solving process, and the craft teaching aims to promote students ‘substance skills of craft sand the skills they need in everyday life. Craft skills make people more active and help them to find practical solutions. Decision making seems to be one of the connecting themes between crafts and enterprise education. In this study, we examine school students’ decision making during a craft process (Rönkkö & Lepistö, 2016).

In the work of Lepistö & Lindfors (2015) it is substantiated that «entrepreneurial behaviour, as a learner-centric and collaborative activity, should be the basis of teaching crafts». In entrepreneurial pedagogy, the entire learning process can be seen as learning by doing (Cope & Watts, 2000). Enterprise education is a process through which students’ participation, interaction, decision-making, and problem-solving skills develop (Rönkkö & Lepistö, 2015). A holistic enterprise education (Remes, 2001) includes the educational equivalents of the forms of enterprise: individual work (self-motivated), the interaction of a group (internal), and materials (external). The congruent and comprehensive view of the enterprise and craft processes can be divided according to the following pedagogic levels: 1) learning is personal and significant as an experience; 2) learning is an interactive process; and 3) carrying out a holistic creation process of a product or task (Lepistö, 2011b).

In the study of Romantsev et al. (2016) identified existing problems in the development of craftsmanship and craft training in Russia and ways to solve them, presented a number of concepts underlying the vocational education of future craft entrepreneurs. In the article Romantsev et al. (2017) presents a structural-functional model of continuous craftsman education that includes formal, non-formal and informal education and outlines a complex of organizational-pedagogical conditions contributing to implementation of this model: 1) complex approach to vocational craftsman education including the potential of formal, non-formal and informal education; 2) networking of educational institutions, science and business; 3) support on behalf of state government bodies on federal, regional and local levels.

In the work of Chapaev et al. (2018) it is concluded that the craft profession is a professional life activity which is a bit different from the classical businessman (of commercial type) and it is also another way of thinking. Craftsmanship is a new understanding of business. Greater opportunities for self-realization in market conditions require a more complicated motivation process. The inclusion of moral motives in other systems of motivation for craft labour (technological, aesthetic, economic, business systems) leads to the unification of moral behavior with the practical side of a craftsman's activity. The degree of individual responsibility and independence increases. Such moral qualities of a craftsman as creative activity and enterprise become not only a means of increasing material wealth, but also a condition for the activity itself. The combination of high moral motives with a practical side of craft activity generates a different type of thinking and a different way of life, which differs substantially from the classical businessman (of a commercial type).

The results of the research Fedorov & Komleva (2017) showed that «the process of training and professional interaction of the micro-enterprise employees will be effective if training and professional interaction of the micro-enterprise employees to be considered as a productive mutual agreed actions of subjects of labour, aimed at solving the educational and professional problems in the process of joint labour activity. Developed structural-functional model of training and professional interaction of employees of micro-enterprises allows us to introduce the process of professional training as a systemic activity of subjects of labour on the development of professional competences of the employee».

The essence and structure of the theoretical constructs “educational competence” is described and substantiated in an article by Rybakina (2018). Its application allows an individual to organically switch from an academic type of activity to a practice-oriented training, educational and professional and, as a result, to professional activity.

However, the specificity of the pedagogical component of the craftsman’s activity was given little attention in the previous researches.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we note that the training of entrepreneurs is aimed at obtaining entrepreneurial key skills, generic entrepreneurship “soft” skills, behavioral patterns, key entrepreneurial values, key business practices, that promote systematic profit. Training craftsman primarily involves the study of the technology of manufacturing products, comprehension of technical creativity and secrets of craftsmanship. Craftsmen shall fulfil various functions: to properly execute customers’ individual orders (functions of high-skilled workers), master all the cycle of technological operations (functions of a production technologist), communicate with suppliers, customers and performers of works (functions of a manager), provide self-employment and create new working places (functions of a small enterprise’s head), train in the workplace and transfer the accumulated experience to new generations (mentor functions), thus integrating operational, technological, entrepreneur and pedagogical components of the craftsman’s labour.
Such multilateral training demonstrates the need for continuing education and consolidation of efforts of all concerned parties in development and implementation of professional and educational standards, curricula and programs of training of vocational education teachers who will teach craftsmen in the future is essentially necessary. A multi-layer system education is necessary which may be presented as a triad: craftsman (of training of skilled workers or individual on-site training)-craftsman-entrepreneur (secondary vocational education) - craftsman-entrepreneur-teacher (higher and supplementary vocational education). Researches are needed which could become the scientific basis of becoming of a new type of education in Russia, that is, the vocational craft education.

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to the academician of the Russian Academy of Education G. M. Romantsev (Dates of life: November 27, 1950-December 17, 2017), the founder of the scientific school “Scientific basis for the development and design of professional and vocational pedagogical education in Russia” for valuable advice and recommendations on research problems of formation and development of vocational craft education in Russia.

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