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On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.75 n.4 Pretoria  2010


Creating intentionally inviting schools through professional development: An appreciative inquiry


Die skepping van doelbewus-uitnodigende skole deur middel van professionele ontwikkeling: 'n waarderende ondersoek



G.M. Steyn

Department of Further Teacher Education, University of South Africa, PRETORIA. E-mail:




The professional development (PD) of teachers plays an important role in schools; it is indispensable for continuous school development. When schools are exposed to new approaches to learning and teaching, teachers are granted the opportunities to change their thinking and behaviour. In 2009, two South African schools with specific inviting characteristics were nominated for the inviting school award given by the International Alliance for Invitational Education (IAIE). However, the inviting characteristics of these schools were not explicitly intentional according to the IE philosophy, therefore they had to follow a professional development programme aimed at raising teachers' awareness of invitational education (IE). Workshops were held to equip staff members with IE knowledge and skills, and to increase their understanding of their current practices with a view of making them more intentionally inviting.

The study focused on the following two questions: What are the positive experiences of teaching staff concerning the current approach to teaching and learning in schools?; and What strategies may be introduced to assist teachers and their schools in becoming intentionally inviting? These two questions are based on appreciative inquiry (AI) and IE. A qualitative research design was most appropriate for the purpose of this study. An analysis of the data revealed two categories (the discovery phase: discovering the best of what exists in the school and the dreaming phase: creating a new future) on which AI is based.

Key concepts: appreciative inquiry, invitational education, primary schools in South Africa, professional development, qualitative research


Die professionele ontwikkeling (PO) van onderwysers is baie belangrik in skole, aangesien dit noodsaaklik is vir voortdurende skoolontwikkeling. Wanneer skole kennis maak met nuwe onderrig- en leerbenaderings, kry onderwysers die geleentheid om hulle denke en gedrag te verander. Twee Suid-Afrikaanse skole met bepaalde uitnodigende kenmerke is aan die einde van 2009 genomineer vir die International Alliance for Invitational Education (IAIE) se toekenning aan uitnodigende skole. Hierdie skole het hulle nie doelbewus daarop toegespits om meer uitnodigend te wees in ooreenstemming met die filosofie van uitnodigende onderwys nie en moes daarom 'n professionele ontwikkelingsprogram volg waartydens onderwysers bewus gemaak is van uitnodigende onderrig ("invitational education" [IE]). Die werkswinkels waaruit die program bestaan het, was daarop gemik om onderwysers toe te rus met IE-kennis en -vaardighede, en om 'n begrip van hulle huidige werkswyses te bewerkstellig, sodat hulle doelbewus meer uitnodigend te werk kon gaan. Die studie het op die volgende twee vrae gefokus: Wat is die onderrigpersoneel se positiewe ervarings van die heersende benadering tot onderrig en leer in die skool?; en Watter strategieë kan onderwysers implementeer sodat hulle en hulle skole meer doelbewus uitnodigend kan word? Hierdie twee vrae vind hulle grondslag in die waarderingsondersoek ("appreciative inquiry" [AI]) en in IE. 'n Kwalitatiewe navorsings-ontwerp was geskik vir die studie. Twee kategorieë wat op AI gegrond is (die ontdekkingsfase: ontdekking van die beste wat in die skool bestaan en die droomfase: skepping van 'n nuwe toekoms) het aan die lig gekom tydens die ontleding van die data.

Kernbegrippe: kwalitatiewe navorsing, laerskole in Suid-Afrika, professionele ontwikkeling, uitnodigende onderwys, waarderingsondersoek



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