Learning / Education

Ashoka Fellows recognize that the dominant method of teaching—by feeding facts to children—needs to be replaced by a new method that engages youth in the learning process and develops minds by encouraging problem solving, decision making, and creativity. They recognize that learning does not begin and end at the classroom door, but must be integrated into the lives of children, taking into account their home and community life. They recognize that school and learning needs to be a relevant, interesting experience for children whose attention can too often get diverted by television and video games, or drugs and crime.

In 1999 Ashoka launched Youth Venture, which draws on the experience and knowledge of more than 400 Ashoka Fellows who have developed effective new approaches to all aspects of learning. Youth Venture aims to improve the lives of youth by helping them realize their own ability to make positive social change.

Taking School to Children, not Children to School

Indian Fellow Inderjit Khurana is bringing schooling to thousands of children who previously spent their days begging from train passengers on the platforms rather than attending schools. By establishing these “Platform Schools” at train stations, Inderjit has provided a creative atmosphere which offers children the basic levels of academic and life education necessary to allow them to work productively and contribute to their communities. More

Making Empathy Part of Learning

Mary Gordon of Canada is teaching emotional literacy and fostering the development of empathy in young students through an innovative, classroom-based parenting program. By bringing living examples of child/parent relationships into the classroom, Roots of Empathy provides young people with strategies to effectively respond to the emotions of others. More

Combating Technological Divide

Rodrigo Baggio is equipping young people in Brazilian favelas with computer skills, thus expanding job opportunities and access to modern society. Through his Committee for Democracy in Information Technology, Rodrigo has broadened the concept of digital inclusion by ensuring low-income communities gain the knowledge, skills, and self-confidence they need to succeed in the global workplace through computer technology. More