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Appreciative Inquiry is a philosophical approach developed by David Cooperrider in the 1980’s and proved to be successful in organizations by focusing on developing strengths instead of deficits to achieve the optimal performance. When comparing AI to the traditional problem solving method, AI is characterized that it is more positive than negative, other-focused instead of self-focused, and based on inquiry rather than defending a point of view. The theory is implemented using 5D cycle process:
Define: Decide what you want more of and create the inquiry process. ” What is the desired outcome?”( Learning A Living, 2010).
Discover: Conduct positive inquiry into the topic and assemble the stories and key ideas that come out of the inquiry. “What strengths do we have in this area?”( Learning A Living, 2010).
Dream: Generalize those discoveries into an image and asks individuals to imagine a future. ” What two wishes do you have in the future?”( Learning A Living, 2010).
Design: Develop ideas for the organization’s design infused with what has been discovered. “What are the most important things that we need to do to achieve the dream?”( Learning A Living, 2010).
Deliver/Destiney: Innovate the organization’s structure with the Dream and the Design phases, and commit to actions to start. “What am I going to do to make
this happen? “( Learning A Living, 2010).
We could apply AI as an instructional strategy no matter the environment, subject matter, class size, or length of the class. It could be simply done when instructors find and build on students’ unique abilities and strengths and that doesn’t mean that educators don’t address students’ developmental issues, they should be addressed but from a positive perspective. Research emphasize that AI has two key benefits when applied, first it improves students’ retention rate, performance, motivation, and engagement in the class. Second it builds strong relationships between educators and students (Buchanan, 2014).
I believe it’s time to take an initial step in our classroom and inquire students about their best stories, anecdotes, and learning practices. As we start this practice and complete phases of AI educators will increase their instructional effectiveness and will feel upbeat about the power of their work to effect positive change. As for students, I believe that they will feel good about their accomplishments and will get motivated to work on their challenges. Reaching the end, for years we examined failures using our traditional problem solving method thus I question what is delaying us from experimenting AI as an alternative perhaps it could ignite the passion for learning, something we miss frequently in our classroom.
- Buchanan, Pamela L. (2014). Appreciative Inquiry: A Path to Change in Education. Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations. Paper 125. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.lib.csusb.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1137&context=etd
- Learning A Living (2010). Appreciative Inquiry. Retrieved from http://www.learningaliving.co.uk/pdf/Appreciative_Enquiry_Overview.pdf