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ERIC Number: EJ942225
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Oct
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
ISSN: ISSN-1471-3802
Growing Talent for Inclusion: Using an Appreciative Inquiry Approach into Investigating Classroom Dynamics
Doveston, Mary; Keenaghan, Marian
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, v6 n3 p153-165 Oct 2006
This paper reports on an Appreciative Inquiry project called "Growing Talent for Inclusion" which has been running since 2002. The project grew out the authors' work in a Local Authority Support Service assisting schools to meet the needs of pupils with a range of additional educational needs. Faced with a large number of individual referrals, many relating to the emotional, social and behavioural needs of pupils, it was considered that an ecosystemic approach was required and that a priority was to support pupils and teachers in developing more effective and satisfying interpersonal relationships in the classroom. "Growing Talent for Inclusion" uses Appreciative Inquiry to investigate a management change process which has been used within large organisations and communities but less commonly at classroom level. It is a type of action research which is solution not problem focused and therefore lends itself well to a research focus of improving classroom dynamics. The paper introduces a 4-D Cycle of Appreciative Inquiry: discovery, dream, design and deliver, as advocated by Cooperrider and Srivastva, 1987, which guides the identification, acknowledgment and amplification of skills pertinent to improving social dynamics within the classroom and discusses the methodological issues which arise from this collaborative, participative form of inquiry. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods has been used to identify and track the development of attributes for improving working relationships in four different primary and secondary classrooms in three schools. 76 pupils and four teachers have been involved in the project since its inception in 2002 with classes in a further three primary schools using the approach during the academic year 2005-2006. Findings from the project show an increase in the number of pupils with whom other pupils are happy to work, a reduction in the number of pupils identified as socially excluded at the beginning of the project and enhanced capacity of the group in terms of the talents identified for growth. Feedback from staff and students also suggests that the process of noticing and acknowledging strengths has contributed to improvements in working relationships.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A