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HOPE in Educational Settings []


By Junlei Li, 3/29/23,

Throughout the Week of HOPE, we will be sharing stories of practicing the HOPE framework. As we conclude our first day of the HOPE Summit, we can reflect on the ways to promote HOPE many different settings. The interview below is a great example of how to practice the HOPE framework in educational settings. Junlei Li, a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education shares the impact of human relationships on children’s development, and the development of the health of adults. Learn more about the different ways to practice HOPE during our Week of HOPE as we post more examples of practicing HOPE.

How does the work you do in education and relational health incorporate the HOPE framework? What does HOPE in action look like for you?

One of the biggest things that we have done with the HOPE framework is engage communities and leaders to think or rethink the impact of positive childhood experiences. This starts with thinking about themselves to then thinking about what they are doing right now in their professional work to make these positive experiences more accessible to children and families. I think the HOPE project has given us, as well as many others in the field, the language and research base to truly reframe the very deficit-focused perspective on children’s experiences to be much more asset and strength-based.

For years we have said “strength-based,” but there had been relatively little research. It was much more of a philosophical argument, but right now, we have a research argument. And I think the nice thing about the HOPE framework is that when we do workshops with school leaders and so on, you can ask people the same kind of questions that were in the HOPE-related studies. All of these questions are readily identifiable no matter where we go, with any audience. I have found that people can appreciate why these questions are important, and people can think of experiences that they have had that allow them to say yes to those questions.

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