Future Founders, a nonprofit housed at Chicago’s 1871 tech incubator, believes every young person can be an entrepreneur. Their model embeds entrepreneurs within middle and high school students in the Chicago Public Schools. With student feedback to the program being less-than-ideal, Desklight was asked to find out why. We developed a strategy and curriculum to make the experience more valuable for everyone involved.
We learned through student interviews that their program experience was hindered by pedagogical issues that limited their autonomy. Student self-directed learning was, in effect, mitigated by the intended work product. Instructors felt their personal experience in entrepreneurship was being sidelined by the coding curriculum.
The synthesis of the research revealed that the learning experience needed to be more engaging, more personally relevant, and more interactive. We re-designed a 12-week curriculum map and designed new business planning segments. This complemented the existing course material that provided opportunities for the instructor experience to exemplify the course content.