Asset Based Approach in Education

3 Steps to Developing an Asset-Based Approach to Teaching

When teachers welcomed students back to school for the academic year 2020–21, they did so while paying close attention to the pupils’ various psychological and social requirements. Now that kids have established their routines at school and are delving deeper into their studies, it is imperative that this message of hope and encouragement be consistently communicated to them throughout the learning process.

Students will begin to behave in accordance with the low standard that has been established for their achievement if all they hear about is the gaps in their learning or that they have fallen behind if all they hear about is how far behind they are. When it comes to education, an asset-based strategy is one that focuses on what pupils are capable of doing as opposed to what they are unable to achieve or where they struggle. In the context of education, it is a manifestation of the growth mindset.


1. Get started with a learning task that serves as a diagnostic and offers information about what students already know and what they are capable of doing. Creating a diagnostic learning activity that focuses on what students are capable of doing can be accomplished in a straightforward manner by aligning the assignment to the competencies or ideas learned in the grade level that came before it. The majority of criteria are built up from previous grade levels or courses in a progressive manner. For instance, this concept is referred to as coherence in the field of mathematics. In the field of science, this can be observed through the development of the core ideas that underpin the discipline (DCI). Teachers can rapidly acquire this knowledge by looking at the standards or deliberately selecting core abilities or concepts within a curriculum design.

For instance, the learning objectives listed below are derived from the standards in English language arts:

I am in the fifth grade and I am able to determine the main idea by using the supporting facts.

I am able to explain how the supporting elements are used to construct the main idea while I am in the sixth grade.

Students first read and annotate an article with text tags to discover important facts, and then utilise those details to create the article’s main point. This serves as a straightforward diagnostic activity for the class. A teacher of the sixth grade would assess student work with a particular emphasis on the details that the students had chosen and how they had used those elements to compose the primary idea, also known as the expectation for the fifth grade.

With this information, the instructor will be able to organise instruction to give students with strategies for progressing from identifying the key idea to explaining how it is created. Students who already possess this skill but are either in need of further practise or are prepared to apply it in a variety of various ways will have other pathways made available to them.

2. Make available a variety of learning opportunities, so that each and every student may have the chance to fulfil rigorous requirements. In the classroom, time has always been of the utmost importance, but it seems as though it is even more valuable now that students are learning in remote or hybrid contexts. To ensure that all students are able to strive toward high goals no matter where they begin, it is possible to build a learning plan that is adaptable to a variety of educational environments and that can be used in those settings.

The diagnostic activity serves as the first step in the learning plan. Students will then complete a core set of learning activities that are aligned to the plan’s learning target to ensure that they are all working toward high expectations. The student has the option to choose a different pathway through the plan, or the teacher may select a different pathway for them to take.

Pathway A incorporates both lecture and review throughout the course, allowing students to enhance both their baseline knowledge and their abilities. Students, for instance, devise criteria in order to recognise significant aspects of a topic. They make use of the criteria in order to select details to tag that indicate the underlying concept.

Additional opportunities for students to practise and apply their skills are included in Pathway B’s curriculum. Students, for instance, will explain the relationship between the statement of the fundamental idea and the evidence from the text by employing a cognitive pattern known as SEE, which stands for “statement, evidence, and explanation.”

Activities for broadening one’s understanding or putting what one has learned into practise in novel ways can be found along Pathway C. Students, for instance, can use SEE to analyse a text that discusses a contrasting viewpoint in order to form an opinion about it.

Taking a cookie-cutter approach to education can result in endless review, repeated work, and disengagement for students, all of which can be mitigated by the creation of alternative learning paths. It is a way of letting the students know that their teacher recognises each of them as an individual who is not only willing but also able to learn.

(For a comprehensive illustration of a learning plan for a sixth-grader that takes an asset-based approach to the teaching process, please go here.)

3. Give students feedback that identifies what they can do as well as recommendations for using their talents to fix areas in which they are lacking. Formative assessment opportunities are incorporated into each and every learning activity. These are examples of the student’s learning that can be touched or seen by others. They are used to provide students with feedback that comprises three crucial pieces of information in an asset-based approach to learning, which is what the approach is called.

The pieces of evidence that you’ve chosen to support your argument show that you have a solid understanding of the various ways in which the transcontinental railroad had an effect on distinct communities of people.

Need: The key concept is a statement that summarises what the author believes to be the most important aspect of the material. How is it possible to convey what is most essential without rehashing all of the relevant particulars?

The following step is to write the main point of two or three paragraphs using your own words before moving on to writing the main point of the full piece of writing.

It is essential to keep in mind that not all students have to be provided with the identical comments at the exact same moment. Students have the option to obtain the feedback they require at the precise moment they require it because to the existence of the formative assessment moment. Nevertheless, at some point in their education, each and every student is entitled to individualised and specific feedback on their progress.

The way in which a teacher and their students approach learning is altered when the teacher begins to focus on what their students already understand, know, and are capable of doing. The instructor starts to make use of what the pupils already know as a way to move the learning process along. Students can establish a belief in their own capability and a motivation to engage in learning even when it is challenging by building their confidence through a series of smaller victories that lead to larger ones. Students take another step toward becoming independent, self-regulated learners when they are given the opportunity to become aware of the ways in which they can learn.