How we do it

A coherent logic model

Our work is rooted in a clear logic model (or theory of change as some prefer to call it) which sets out a coherent link between the needs our young people have, the activities we deliver and how these contribute to the difference we want to make. This logic model was developed as part of our work on the Impact Accelerator with support from the Dartington Research Unit.  It has since been critiqued and refined through our work with the Education Endowment Foundation, the Careers and Enterprise Company.

Our ultimate aim is to improve social mobility. Whilst there are many different ways to do this, we focus on developing the self-efficacy, social confidence and soft skills of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who particularly need to develop in these areas. The way we achieve this is through a combination of a social enterprise competition, facilitated group work and business mentoring.  You can download our logic model here.

 

A sound theroetical basis

We believe that personal qualities are best developed through practical experiences.  But for practical experiences to develop specific qualities, they need to be appropriately designed and facilitated.  

At Envision we have based much of our practice on two gurus that many others including us hold in high regard, particularly because they have amassed an impressive evidence-base to support their theories.

  • Firstly, when it comes to developing self-efficacy there is no one more expert than Albert Bandura  - you can read about how we apply his thories here.

  • Secondly, we are big fans of the thoery of 'deliberate practice' advocated by Anders Erricson  - you can read about how we apply this to enable the development of skills here.

 

An engaging vehicle for learning 

We use project-based learning to enable students to develop skills and focus on social action as a vehicle for learning for three reasons:

  • it is particularly effective for engaging young people from disadvantaged communities, particularly those who have experienced social injustice, poverty or stigmatisation and are therefore highly motivated to make a difference.  It also engages those who do not self-identify as an entrepreneur and would therefore be less likely to participate in more common enterprise challenges

  • it’s a great vehicle for motivating the wider community to support projects, as they are so often inspired by the commitment of the young people

  • it develops character, as well as skills.  We believe that education should prepare people to contribute to society as well as the economy.

 

Effective employer engagement

Effective employee volunteering is one of the things we do best.  Over the past five years we have been continuously supported by the Careers and Enterprise Company, the national body leading careers education on behalf of the government, for our work in this area. Here’s three reasons why:   

  • What makes our mentoring different and effective is that we embed it in a wider project.  Young people regard mentors as volunteers who want to help them to improve their projects.  This makes it easier to break down barriers and attract young people who would be less willing to engage with traditional mentoring programmes.

  • Our programmes are designed to offer at least four employer engagement opportunities for every individual young person.  This is because research demonstrates that young people who recall four or more interactions with employer at school are five times less likely to not be in education, training or employment.

  • We make it easy for employee volunteers to make an impact, by facilitating tried and tested session formats which take place in the offices of our volunteers.