Empowering students to enhance pedagogy: An appreciative inquiry case study of alternative high school students’ high point learning experiences
The purpose of this study was to describe how Complete High School Maize (CHSM) students describe their high point learning experiences. The study also described how CHSM students describe their dreams for effective learning. A qualitative case study research design was used to facilitate an AI Learning Team in the first two stages of the 4-D Cycle—Discovery and Dream. Eight CHSM students, four males and four females, were purposively selected as the AI Learning Team (Cooperrider, Whitney, & Stavros, 2003; Ludema, Whitney, Mohr, & Griffin, 2003). Data collection methods included: participant group discussions, semi-structured participant paired interviews, and participant created documents, participant generated video, and a participant created presentation for district administrators. Data were analyzed using several techniques: content analysis, open coding, axial coding, text analysis software, and pattern matching with the use of a content analysis matrix. Careful attention was made to ensure that the quality of the research addressed trustworthiness in terms of credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability throughout my study. Four salient findings emerged: (1) CHSM students believe that they need other experiences built into their class work, (2) CHSM students believe students and teachers respect rules, students talk with teachers, and people help each other, (3) CHSM students want to create a better learning environment that mixes fun with academics, and (4) CHSM students believe that the students and teachers are a family and common activities are important. The findings from this study suggest that further research with AI in educational settings may have important implications to inspire educators to think in new ways about learning. AI as an action research methodology can be used to inform teacher practice and impact the effectiveness of the teaching and learning process. As well, the use of AI as a theoretical perspective with its positive approach can contribute to best practices in teaching where changes in a teacher’s own pedagogical practice leads to excellence in education.
Thesis (Ph.D.) - Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Educational Leadership