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What is Strengths-Based Education?

Research confirms that a student’s success is driven by non-academic factors such as their character, parental support and the level of hope + engagement they feel within school. Districts and schools have generally addressed this by trying to implement point programs (ex. advisory, life skills classes, interventions) in the face of increasing accountability for student performance in core subjects. Thrively is changing this dynamic by introducing a new, holistic approach for student learning. Strengths-Based Education (SBE) incorporates social/emotional learning, student career, and interest exploration and student-centered learning (or student-directed projects) into a cohesive pedagogy that helps students find relevance in school and life.

Strengths-Based Education is successful when students have:

  • Built a growth mindset;
  • Developed 21st Century Skills and habits;
  • Identified multiple, exciting post-secondary pathways; and
  • Strengthened their social support structures.

These goals can be accomplished when students’ K-12 journey includes a thoughtful implementation of SBE that is truly 360 degrees in nature. In other words, it must proactively include parents, community and out-of-school time. No component of SBE exists by itself. They are inter-related and non-linear.  Thrively enables Strength-Based Education through our platform, taking students, teachers, and parents through the entire process.  Our Strength Assessment helps students discover their character strengths and is the starting point for social-emotional learning.  Students then identify their interests and career aspirations through our Pathways, Videos, and Activities.  Finally, educators turn their students’ interests into true “student-centered learning” by facilitating projects.  Explore what Strengths-Based Learning can do for your students at Thrively.


Get Started With Strengths-Based Education

Watch this young boy turn nothing into something amazing!

This is a story that has gotten incredible mileage on YouTube, and for good reason. It is the ultimate illustration of how passion is contagious. When you watch Caine, you can’t help but think of the potential of a world where this kind of creativity and imagination is nurtured and celebrated everywhere, and even integrated as part of our core educational culture. Caine’s strength is his irrepressible imagination and his raw determination to see his vision through.

Another important notion that Caine’s pursuit drives home is that anything is possible, as long as there is passion driving it. It’s a cliché that we rarely get to see exemplified in real life, but there were multiple transformations in this story that we didn’t see coming:

  • First, the transformation of a seemingly bored but patient kid into an ambitious creator and true entrepreneurial dreamer – he clearly believed he was building something important, even if he had almost nothing to build it with!
  • Second, the transformation of pile of cardboard into a collection of make-shift arcade games.
  • Third, the transformation of a group of simple cardboard games with very limited objective pizzazz or anything resembling professional finish into an absolutely inspirational arcade with lines of paying customers around the block, a video with millions of fans, and a college scholarship fund in the six figures!

What sort of things have your children created with ordinary everyday stuff?