Title

Exploring the power of appreciative inquiry in discovering the positive core of a public sector rural school in Gilgit-Baltistan

Date of Award

7-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Professional Development Centre, Karachi

Abstract

Schools as social organization, hold lot of untapped positive core in the form of knowledge, best practices, success stories, skills and positive experiences of the stakeholders which can serve as a basis for inquiry, learning, inspiration, interpretation and possibility for improvement. This study explores how Appreciative Inquiry (AI) as a contemporary approach for organizational development, helped the key stakeholders of a public sector school to discover the positive core of their school and generated possibilities for improvement. AI was used both as a research perspective and a strategy for school improvement because of its positive approach for key stakeholders to interact with each other. Purposeful sampling strategy was adopted to get the representation of various key stakeholders in the study. Altogether eleven research participants were engaged in the process of data generation through semi-structured individual interviews, pair interviews, positive conversation sessions and observation of school’s artifacts and displays. Data was analyzed using content analysis, thematic coding and pattern matching techniques. Findings of the study suggest that AI process provided the space for candid dialogue by involving the voices of a diverse group of key stakeholders to think deeply about the positive aspects of the school. It was evident that the AI process enabled the participants to recognize themselves as worthwhile individuals possessing unique strengths by sharing stories of most delightful experiences and energized them to move from mere participation to real engagement. The study found that AI has the potential to engage the key stakeholders within the school to collectively imagine their preferred future. It also helped them to realize the critical role of school principal in creating a positive work environment. The AI process has the capacity to enhance meaningful relationship among school community, gain broad participation of key stakeholders and initiate collaborative actions for improved teaching leaning processes in schools.

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