An appreciative approach to middle leader engagement in school improvement

Raynor, Anne (2017) An appreciative approach to middle leader engagement in school improvement. EdD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Much has been written on the importance of increasing leadership capacity in schools and managing systems for leadership development. However, little focus has been given to creating the necessary conditions to facilitate the emergence of leadership in order to support school improvement. Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a philosophy and method for promoting transformational change within organisations, shifting from a traditional problem-based orientation to a more strength-based approach to change, which focuses on affirmation, appreciation and positive dialogue.

This research study examines an innovative appreciative approach to facilitating positive and rapid school improvement. This is achieved through qualitative analysis whereby I explore the emergence of middle leadership during an Appreciative Inquiry initiative in a large, urban Academy and identify those features of Appreciative Inquiry that were conducive to such emergence. In addition, I show that the initiative provided participants with many of the elements considered vital to leading a vibrant and democratic learning community.

These are opportunities for professional reflection and sense-making, a safe and affirming learning community, time to dialogue with others within the organisation regarding their core values and commitments, a collaborative work culture, space for networking, and the freedom to take action.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (EdD)
Supervisors: Thompson, Patricia
Keywords: Educational leadership, School improvement, Appreciative inquiry
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 40637
Depositing User: Raynor, Anne
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2017 04:40
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 23:34

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