The school has failed the “No Child Left Behind” requirements for the past 2 years. In order to change the situation, the strategy of appreciative inquiry was implemented. Owing to this step, all of the school’s employees got a new vision of what cultural activities children really need. The concentration of past successful experiences instead of problems was very useful to achieve present success.
Since the school has failed the “No Child Left Behind” requirements for the past 2 years, it requires an efficient change strategy in order to achieve positive results in future. The strategy of the appreciative inquiry is the most efficient in culture change in the public school. The strategy consists in making investigations of all the cultural activities which have been successful in this school during the last couple of years, identifying their positive influence on children, and looking for ways to repeat the previous success through the series of new cultural activities.
The strategy of appreciative inquiry is the only strategy which would be efficient in such a case. Traditional change management activities are not going to help because they focus on the problem. In order to make a radical culture change in this school, it’s necessary not to focus on the problem but to investigate pervious positive experience in order to inspire the members of the team.
The strategy of appreciative inquiry is applicable in this case because it “takes a different approach by focusing on what works in an organization and creating a series of statements that describe where the organization wants to be, based on the high points of where they have been. Because these statements are grounded in real experience, people know how to repeat the success and thus have a greater energy to make more moments of success than when presented with a nebulous vision of the future.” (Geof Cox, 1998, p.1)
In order to achieve maximum success, the team has include school teachers of all levels, school’s principal. The project has to begin with making all of the teachers in the team remember all kinds of cultural events which took place at school and were enjoyed by students. During this meeting, all of the children’s needs have to be identified through the prism of the results of previous activities which they were engaged in. In the research process the following activities would be identified as the most interesting for children: acting in plays, participating in poetry and music contests, taking part in sports competitions. All of these activities had a great success among kids in the previous years, therefore the success of them in future can be predicted easily.
f) The intervention of the new vision would have to last for about 2 months during which all of the mentioned activities had to take place. Many teachers were involved in the process of preparing the activities for children, and their current vision would adapt to the new one in the period of around 2 months.
g) The results of appreciative inquiry strategy could be seen in the next half a year because all the teachers got a new vision of their role in the school- not only as people who have to bring knowledge to kids about different subjects, but also as leaders of different cultural activities in which kids could apply all of their talents and abilities.
The chosen strategy has turned out very successful, and brought positive results. The strategy of appreciative inquiry is very efficient in such a case because “by focusing on the successful examples in the past and present, we build a picture of the themes and ideas that we know we can do, and that work. We develop an individual and collective mindset of what we are capable of that is grounded in reality.” (Geof Cox, 1998, p.2)
The main implications which could occur in the strategy implementation consist in some teachers’ resistance to change and their little desire to participate in the change process. However, by making them realize the positive influence of the strategy on the cultural life at school, this resistance could be brought to the minimum.
The strategy of appreciative inquiry has turned out very efficient in making the school fit into the requirements of the “No Child Left Behind” vision because owing to it, all of the school’s employees got a new vision of what cultural activities children really need. The concentration of past successful experiences instead of problems was very useful to achieve present success.
Geof Cox. Appreciative inquiry. Edinburgh, Scotland., 1998. www.aradford.co.uk
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