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A strengths-based approach is one where educators intentionally identify, communicate, and harness learners' assets to empower them to flourish. Educators should consider strengths from academic and other domains, including strong collaboration, creative thinking, problem solving, communicating, and other skills critical for success. Strengths can be identified through both formal assessments and informal activities, such as reflective prompts or conferences. Educators can provide strengths-based feedback by asking probing questions to determine the skills and knowledge that learners already have. This practice encourages a mindset of leveraging strengths in order to solve problems or overcome challenges.
Use It In Your Learning Environment
When strengths-based teaching is applied through a lens of cultural awareness, educators can tap into learners' funds of knowledge and identities to create a positive environment where learners feel confident and empowered. This includes valuing home language and respecting individual cultural needs. Consistently identifying and communicating strengths for each and every learner before they encounter challenges or setbacks promotes caring and inclusive environments that foster a Sense of Belonging and can mitigate the negative impact of Adverse Experiences.
Developers can provide opportunities for learners to select different tasks or pathways based on how they self-identify their strengths. As learners master certain skills or content within the program, products can provide feedback that emphasizes their strengths across a variety of factors such as level of engagement, cognition, social and emotional stamina, as well as academic success. This can support learners' use of metacognitive strategies and help cultivate learner agency.