Teacher’s Corner – Appreciative Leadership and Positive Framing

How might we apply the concepts of Appreciative Inquiry and Appreciative Leadership in the classroom?  How might we use inquiry by asking powerful questions to support students in taking ownership of their learning?  Appreciative Inquiry identifies the strengths of a group and then pushes the group to develop ways to capitalize on those strengths.  We leverage the growth mindset by challenging students to find solutions to challenges rather than dwelling on them.  We do this by teaching Appreciative Inquiry through the use of the 4 D’s:  Discover, Dream, Design, and Deliver.  Consider using the four stages of Appreciative Inquiry to empower your students to help you find what’s working, create an ideal vision for the class, and design a way to get there.  

  • Discover what is working
    • Focus on the positive
    • Create a list of strengths
    • Reflect on past accomplishments
  • Dream about what is possible
    • Leverage the collective creativity of the group
    • Ask powerful questions such as, “What does the ideal _____ look like for each student, teacher, and/or administrator?”
  • Design concrete activities to move you towards the vision 
    • Delegate responsibilities to the students and relinquish control
    • Brainstorm ways that the group can work together to achieve the collective vision
  • Destiny – commit to the agreed-upon aspirations
    • Categorize actionable items to support the group in defining roles
    • Be willing to continuously learn, adjust, be flexible, and stay focused on strengths and vision for the future

We have provided links below of two positive framing scenarios that might help you as you engage colleagues and students in positive problem solving.  As you plan for the future of teaching and learning in your classroom for the fall, consider ideas and innovations from your students and other teachers in your school.  Collaboratively planning the future of learning provides you with added insight and approaches you may not consider on your own. Leverage the knowledge and skills of your colleagues and your students to build a better future together.

Positive Framing Teacher-to-Teacher Example
Positive Framing Example Teacher-to-Student Example

“Studies of organisational excellence have shown that the art and science of asking powerful positive questions is much more important than looking for the gaps, weaknesses and limitations in a system.”

~ Anne Radford, Owner and editor of online journal AI Practitioner