How Do Disruptive Innovators Prepare Today's Students to Be Tomorrow's Workforce?: Scholas' Approach to Engage Youth

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Denaro, Desirée
Dec 2020
The lack of motivation and sense of community within schools have proven to be the two most relevant factors behind the decision to drop out. Despite the notable progress made in school access in countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, dropping out of school has still been a problem. This paper explores Scholas Occurrentes pedagogical approach to address these dropouts. Scholas focuses on the voice of students. It seeks to act positively on their motivation by listening to them, creating spaces for discussion, and strengthening soft skills and civic engagement. Scholas aims to enhance the sense of community within schools by gathering students from different social and economic backgrounds and involving teachers, families, and societal actors. This will break down the walls between schools and the whole community. This paper presents Scholas work with three examples from Paraguay, Haiti, and Argentina. It analyzes the positive impacts that Scholas' intervention had on the participants. Then, it focuses on future challenges regarding the scalability and involvement of the institutions in the formulation of new public policies. The approach highlights the participatory nature of education and the importance of all actors engagement.