Youth entrepreneurship programs empower self-motivated learning and problem solving, while providing to educators during COVID-19 disruption.
BARRINGTON, Ill., June 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Uncharted Learning, a national nonprofit committed to helping students develop resilience and problem-solving skills through entrepreneurship, today published a report that explores the connection between youth enterprise programs, purposeful learning, empowered students and engaged educators.
"Learning with a Purpose: Student Agency and the Joy of Teaching and Learning" investigates how entrepreneurship education prepares students to look within themselves to find motivation to learn, solve problems in their communities and to persevere in the face of failure. Through interviews with teachers of Uncharted Learning's INCubatoredu program, the report highlights the magic that happens when a student's passion meets the opportunity for action.
"This report drives home the importance of programs that build agency in our students, that prepare them for the inevitable challenges of the future," said Margarita Geleske, chief evangelist for Uncharted Learning. "There's evidence that students enrolled in entrepreneurship education and youth enterprise programs before COVID-19 were better prepared for uncertainty and rapid change during it. The ability to thrive amid such challenges will pay big dividends for them in the adult world."
"Learning with a Purpose" also takes a look into the role entrepreneurship programs are playing in reigniting enthusiasm in pandemic-weary educators. It reveals stories from educators of how the program creates more resilient, more adaptable students, and how watching student agency in action is giving teachers a reason to celebrate during a challenging period in their professional lives.
"(Students) feel in control. They feel like they have a purpose, like this is more than just turning in a worksheet," said Valerie Cooper, who teaches INCubatoredu courses at Lewisville Independent School District in Lewisville, Texas. "Every day, there is accountability. My students become more comfortable with ambiguity. They get comfortable and start taking initiative."
During INCubatoredu courses, students create and develop their own product or service, often solving a problem they have identified themselves. It ends with the students pitching their ideas to potential investors. The goal is to provide students with real-world experiences while also equipping them with skills like adaptability, resilience and creative thinking.
But as Dr. Johnnie Thomas, superintendent of Rich Township High School District 227 in suburban Chicago, writes in the foreword: "(T)here's something else at play with programs like INCubatoredu, something with an even greater potential to help our students in the long-term. It makes students active participants in their own futures. They see that neither learning nor life are things done to them, but rather are things they can shape."
About Uncharted Learning
Uncharted Learning is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to kick start students for life by equipping them with real-world skills. The company helps inspire them to discover their passions, strengthen their capabilities and create their own futures. Its programs offer authentic, rigorous entrepreneurship experiences to students in 250 schools across the U.S. and Australia. Since 2013, Uncharted Learning's year-long INCubatoredu program has prepared students to succeed in a changing global economy.
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