2021 Spring Webinar: Teaching From an Asset-Based Framework

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Francesca Lopez

Dr. Frank Tuitt


Teaching from an asset-based framework emphasizes each learner’s strengths, rather than focusing on deficits, and uses all types of diversity as resources to deepen learning.

March 2, 2021

PRESENTATION: Developing Critical Consciousness: Knowledge Instructors Need to Implement Asset-Based Instruction

Much like K-12 learning contexts, post-secondary institutions have had to contend with critiques of the myriad ways they sustain deficit orientations for minoritized students. Among the deficit orientations that are ubiquitous in K-20+ learning contexts are racist notions that have been upheld as normative while at the same time culture and race-free. Deficit orientations, however, reflect a superiority of practices, expectations, and experiences that minoritized students are perceived to lack. This presentation will engage participants in exploring the kind of knowledge that is necessary to develop critical consciousness and develop asset-based approaches.

March 2, 2021

WORKSHOP: Creating an Asset-Based Syllabus

In this workshop, participants will critically examine the ways classroom artifacts (i.e., the syllabus and readings) can reflect deficit orientations and explore ways to create a more inclusive, asset-based approach to courses across the disciplines. Participants will be asked to bring a course syllabus to the workshop, and will engage in thought exchanges to promote understanding and practices that create asset-based classroom spaces.

Dr. Francesca Lopez

Dr. Francesca López is the Waterbury Chair in Equity Pedagogy at Pennsylvania State University, College of Education, Curriculum and Instruction Department. López’s research focuses on the ways educational settings promote achievement for marginalized youth and has been funded by the American Educational Research Association Grants Program, the Division 15 American Psychological Association Early Career Award, the National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Institute of Education Sciences, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Prior to joining Penn State in July 2020, she served as the Ernest W. McFarland distinguished professor in leadership for education policy and reform; founder and director of the Education Policy Center; and associate dean of the College of Education at the University of Arizona. She is a co-editor of the National Education Policy Center publications and former co-editor of the American Educational Research Journal.

MARCH 9, 2021

PRESENTATION: Making Excellence Inclusive in Challenging Times: Moving Beyond Diversity to Create Equitable and Affirming Learning Environments

In spite of our best efforts to advance diversity, postsecondary institutions have found themselves in the midst of campus protests where minoritized students have been speaking out in resistance to the failure of academic institutions to create inclusive and affirming learning environments in which they can succeed and thrive. Accordingly, this presentation explores how predominantly White institutions can move beyond diversity to promote equitable and affirming learning environments both in and outside of the classroom.

MARCH 10, 2021

WORKSHOP: Realizing a More Inclusive Pedagogy: Implications for Individual and Institutional Transformation

In this workshop, participants will move from the micro (classroom) to the macro (institution) to explore ways in which institutional policies, practices, and procedures impact how inclusive pedagogy is advanced at the classroom level. Designed specifically for institutional leaders and classroom instructors, this session will seek to identify what institution wide and unit level (department) conditions need to be in place to promote inclusive learning environments throughout the institution and avoid the construction of isolated pockets of excellence.

Dr. Frank Tuitt

Dr. Frank Tuitt serves as vice president and chief diversity officer at the University of Connecticut. In 2019, he received the National Association of Chief Diversity Officers in Higher Education Association Individual Leadership Award in recognition of “outstanding contributions to research, administration, practice, advocacy, and/or policy.” This award recognizes a colleague “whose work informs and advances understanding of diversity and inclusive excellence in higher education.” Prior to joining the University of Connecticut, from 2019 – 2020, Dr. Tuitt was the inaugural visiting scholar at the Echo Center for Diversity Policy at the Hague, Netherlands, where he conducted research and training to support diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at post-secondary institutions in Europe. Before that, he served from 2015 – 2019 as chief diversity officer at the University of Denver, which he joined as a faculty member in 2004.