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Appreciative Pedagogy

Yballe and O’Connor (O’Connor & Yballe, 2007; Yballe & O’Connor, 2004; Yballe & O’Connor, 2000) have described Appreciative Pedagogy (AP) as practices stemming from an appreciative stance in experiential education. According to Yballe and O’Connor (2004), AP shows up in the learning environment as AI’s basic beliefs, values, and social inquiry process. The core values of AP on “a positive change in education” include the following:

Value 1: Appreciative Pedagogy is experience centered.

Value 2: Appreciative Pedagogy proposes a bias towards success.

Value 3: Appreciative Pedagogy has a Transformative Bias, as opposed to description and knowledge banking

Value 4: Appreciative Pedagogy is strongly oriented toward the challenging vision of a life worth living

Value 5: Appreciative Pedagogy is biased in favor of supportive partnerships rather than hierarchic relationships in the learning experience

Value 6: Appreciative Pedagogy favors dialogic processes, where students and teachers are constantly engaged in the re-creation of knowledge—knowledge that matters. (pp. 175-178)

The authors note that Appreciative Pedagogy facilitates the exploration and formation of positive realities – students creating their own desired learning experience in the classroom on a daily basis that can guide behavior and transform the lives of the participants as they are empowered. Additional appreciative pedagogical work has been done in looking at instructional design (Norum, 2000), classroom management (Conklin, 2009; HoShing-Clarke, 2009), and the transformative learning  in critical thinking processes that takes place when using AI with possibilities for application in classrooms (Wood, 2006).

I consider Appreciative Pedagogy, as I have come to understand it this far, to be a part and practice of Active Learning methodology. Many of the aims, attention and interests are similar. Important to note are the intentions for improving capacity/learning and making real life connections – especially through the relational construction process.


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