Appreciative Inquiry

Our philosophy is to take a positive view of the potential of people involved, both adults and children. Consequently, we used appreciative inquiry with its base in the everyday so people can build from areas of success. An appreciative approach builds a sense of commitment to and confidence in the projects. Appreciative Inquiry starts from what people are doing well, and from analysing it. The inquirer then sees what lessons that analysis may provide to extend their expertise to other contexts.

Pauline Patterson, General Adviser for Science in Hampshire, endorses the value of an appreciative inquiry approach.

“I think everyone has gained enormously from being part of the project. What I found so positive about the process was that in quite a very short period of time, people moved from being fairly unfocussed and unsure about how their enquiry would develop, to what was really quite exciting innovative thinking.

Being part of a sizeable well organised group, that provided guidance and support offered enormous benefits. Through discussions and sharing their thoughts and ideas with one another, teachers made huge progress in clarifying and shaping their research.

Collectively the group learnt so much about how to build on young children’s natural curiosity and actively engage them in exciting explorations by improving and enriching the experiences offered. And that shared knowledge has really changed the practice of those involved.”

Continuing professional development follows many routes. In the following links teachers show the value of collecting evidence to support developing practice in their schools.

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