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Appreciative based learning and research: amplifying the positive
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7952-5111
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Health Sciences, Health and Rehab.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3876-7202
2009 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this paper we will explore and discuss possibilities to learn and research through an appreciative approach in order to enhance continuing professional development for teachers and leaders in school systems. Traditionally humans are used to define problems and trying to find solutions. This involves identification of the bad or threatening and preventing it from taking place, in other words prevention. What would happen if we choose to solve problems in a different way: identify what we appreciate and let this be the base for continued development and improvement? A promoting perspective and salutogenic focus has shown to be successful in helping humans increase their experience of health, which may also create opportunities for learning. How would it be if we changed our point of departure in learning and research processes from problems to appreciation?Our thoughts about Appreciative Based Learning (ABL) has evolved while working with Problem Based Learning (PBL) as teachers. When we came in contact with Participatory and Appreciative Action Research (PAAR) and Appreciative Inquiry we sensed an increased opportunity for positive change, a new way of working with education and research. PAAR can be seen both as a process of building and sustaining change in organizations (Participation, Appreciation, Action and Reflection) and also as a research methodology. PAAR has its roots in action research which is a problem based method aiming at developing and improving practice. Action research can be seen as participatory and collaborative research. A central question in this kind of research is how change of practice can be done, individually or collectively. The new aspect in PAAR is appreciation. An improvement process starts from for example acknowledging factors that work well in an organization or for an individual and the next step is to amplify these positive factors. PAAR research seeks for example to explore positive experiences of a phenomenon and how these experiences can be amplified and sustained in a practice.Central aspects of ABL are appreciation, participation, multimodalities, learning from each other and reflection. Just like PAAR, ABL can offer an opportunity to take positive questions and turn them into positive actions. We will give examples of how we as teachers and researchers have applied ABL in our own teaching and research. Finally we raise questions of how ABL can play a role in school improvement and educational research, building not only a better school but a better future as well.Methodology or methods/research instruments or sources used:We will focus on how to use ABL in the field of school improvement generally and specifically pertaining to educational research, through giving the theoretical background and examples of how we have applied ABL. We have been inspired by ABL in our own research, when teaching in higher education and when working with continuing professional development for teachers and leaders in school systems.Conclusions or expected outcomes or findings:This paper seeks to introduce and explore ABL as a method in school improvement processes and in educational research. We will share our process in developing ABL; how we have applied ABL in our teaching and research. We hope that our thoughts about the possibility to learn and research through an appreciative approach will inspire the participants to reflect on their own practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009.
National Category
Pedagogy Other Health Sciences
Research subject
Education; Health Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-37168Local ID: b190ca60-cfb5-11de-b769-000ea68e967bOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-37168DiVA, id: diva2:1010666
Conference
European Conference on Educational Research : 28/09/2009 - 30/09/2009
Note
Godkänd; 2009; 20091112 (ulrber)Available from: 2016-10-03 Created: 2016-10-03 Last updated: 2017-11-25Bibliographically approved

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Bergmark, UlrikaKostenius, Catrine

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