Experiential learning programs cultivate resilience, adaptability and creativity; former Superintendent of the Year explains importance of connecting purpose to learning.

BARRINGTON, IL (APRIL 30, 2020) - Uncharted Learning, a leading not-for-profit provider of authentic student entrepreneurship programs, today published a report that examines how to ready students for an uncertain economy. 

Learning with a Purpose: Preparing Today’s Students to Navigate an Increasingly Ambiguous Futureexplores a topic that is even more important in the age of COVID-19:  how entrepreneurship education can equip students for the challenging workforce demands of the future. The report highlights district and school leaders who are using entrepreneurship programs to prepare students for a future where the shelf life of skills is shrinking and technology is rapidly transforming the world of work.

“This report makes an overwhelming case for a more meaningful kind of education, one that not only gives students purpose, but also prepares them for the kind of complex world we’ll be living in post-pandemic,” said Margarita Geleske, Chief Evangelist for Uncharted Learning. “In order to be successful in this new economic reality, students must be able to work collaboratively, solve problems creatively and handle upheaval seamlessly – and the research shows that entrepreneurship programs prepare them to do just that.”

Recent research from LinkedIn suggests that occupations in data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence top the list of emerging jobs across the country – but that employers are increasingly in search of human skills like collaboration, creativity, and independence that cannot be automated. Against that backdrop, high school students crave authentic, high-stakes, real-life experiences, such as creating a product or building a business from the ground up. Entrepreneurship education can provide students with purpose as they solve real world problems, lessons students view as relevant and engaging. 

“[T]he key to ensuring that young people are successful is not just helping them achieve academic success, but also instilling in them a sense of purpose and providing a way to help them navigate uncertainty,” according to foreword author and former superintendent of the year Dr. David Schuler. “This report makes the case that purpose promotes lifelong learning and equips students with the motivation and the tools needed to navigate an ambiguous world.”

Launched at Barrington High School in Barrington, Illinois, in 2013, Uncharted Learning’s INCubatoredu program prepares young people for the rigors of a changing global economy. During the year-long course, 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.

“Most high schools are teaching a business curriculum that is old,” Dr. Tom Leonard, superintendent of the Eanes Independent School District in Austin, Texas, said in the report. “And it is tired, and it is extremely traditional. The world changed, and business curriculum – and business education in high schools – didn’t.”

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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. We help inspire them to discover their passions, strengthen their capabilities, and create their own futures. Our programs offer authentic, rigorous entrepreneurship experiences to students in 250 schools across the United States and Mexico. 

PR Newswire announcement can be seen here

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