Appreciative Inquiry in Schools and Colleges

jb_09_05_09_3840994-300x210This week, my friend John asked about using Appreciative Inquiry in a community college.

So I gathered resources for him, as he works in a community college and they are about to embark upon a significant change initiative. As I wrote the email to him, I thought this could be a blog item as others may find the information helpful.

As with most research on AI, I started with the AI Commons website to find articles that seemed to be the best examples of AI in schools and colleges for a range of outcomes, from strategic planning to community involvement and other issues. I list them with a brief explanation of each below.

AI is a process and philosophy that can be applied to any issue or problem. With AI we start with the premise that there are things that already work well in the system, so we focus on those as a start rather than on the problems we need to “fix” … what you study grows…..

In an educational context, as with any other, you find as many solutions to problems as there are people. John said it so well, “searching for answers in a sea of solutions”. Each of us has our own prefered frameworks and problem solving methods, to which we are attached because they work for us to some degree. Furthermore, we don't like to let go of “the tried and true” because the known is safer than the unknown.