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EXPERIENCES OF TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING IN THE APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY

By Jack Simpson,2014-09-24 13:05
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EXPERIENCES OF TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING IN THE APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY

1 EXPERIENCES OF TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING IN THE APPRECIATIVE

    2 INQUIRY EVENT

    3

    4 A dissertation submitted 5 by

    6 KELLEY DOUGLAS WOOD

    7 to

    8 FIELDING GRADUATE UNIVERSITY 9 In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

    10 DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

    11 in

    12 HUMAN AND ORGANIZATIONAL SYSTEMS 13 This dissertation has been accepted for 14 the faculty of Fielding Graduate University by 15

    16 ______________________________________ 17 Steven Schapiro, Ed.D.

    18 Chair

    19

    20 ______________________________________ 21 Dottie E. Agger-Gupta, Ph.D. 22 Faculty Reader

    23

    24 ______________________________________ 25 Frank J. Barrett, Ph.D.

    26 Faculty Reader

    27

    28 ______________________________________ 29 James P. Goebelbecker, MBA, MAHOS 30 Student Reader

    31

    32 ______________________________________ 33 James D. Ludema, Ph.D.

    34 External Examiner

    35

    Transformative Learning in the Appreciative Inquiry Event

    36 Experiences of Transformative Learning in the Appreciative Inquiry Event 37 by

    38 Kelley Douglas Wood

    39 Abstract

    40 In a review of the current literature and research on the practice of appreciative 41 inquiry, it is evident that changes in meaning schemas reported by participants are 42 consistent with the process of transformative learning as described by Mezirow. In this 43 qualitative research, I explored and described how AI participants understand and make 44 meaning of their transformative experiences, comparing these experiences to Mezirow‟s

    45 TL theory. The sample population consisted of self-selected participants who reported a 46 positive change they attributed to an AI event. First, I used a method of constant 47 comparative analysis suggested by grounded theory. Then a deductive analysis using a 48 transformative learning coding key, later, I triangulated the data. 49 My research revealed that 73% of the participants who attended an AI summit 50 experienced TL. Overall 38% of the participants experienced a change of perspective 51 consistent with TL, while 62% experienced an alignment of their values with AI. The 52 process of TL followed Mezirow‟s model and other unique models of TL. Positive 53 emotional experiences played a significant role in offsetting the experience of negative 54 emotions. This research resulted in a new model of TL, which better describes the 55 experiences of the research participants, and may be more inclusive and complete. This 56 research increases our understanding of the process of TL, how AI might promote and 57 foster TL, and the role of positivity and positive emotions in the process of TL. 58 Keywords: Transformative Learning, Appreciative Inquiry, Organizational Behavior, 59 Positive Psychology, Positive Emotions, Qualitative Analysis, Grounded Theory 60

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    70 ? Copyright 71 by

    72 Kelley Douglas Wood

    73 2007 74

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    Transformative Learning in the Appreciative Inquiry Event

75 Acknowledgements

    76 I would first like to acknowledge and thank my external examiner, Dr. James D. 77 Ludema, Ph.D. Professor of Organizational Behavior at Benedictine University, Founder 78 of Appreciative Inquiry Consulting, Principle Consultant Corporation for Positive 79 Change. I am thankful for his knowledge, insight, comments, suggestions, and feedback. 80 I offer a special thanks to Jim Goebelbecker, my tireless Student Reader, you have my 81 gratitude. Dr, Colleen Ives and Dr. Johnna Herrick-Phelps fellow travelers and my 82 special cohort in learning. My friends and coworkers for their patience, and the gang at 83 the Norwich Inn for their encouragement and support.

    84 I would also like to acknowledge the following people without whom this journey 85 could not have begun: Dr. Steven P. Guerriero, Ph.D., Edward J. Tomey, M.Ed., Dr. 86 Donna L. Mellen, Ph.D., Dr. Bill Griffith, Ph.D., Peter M. Smith, M.B.A., and Natalie 87 Milano of Antioch New England Graduate School. Dr. Leo Johnson, Faculty Emeritus, 88 Fielding Graduate University for welcoming me to Fielding, keeping track of my 89 progress, and encouraging me all these years.

    90 I would also like to thank the following people for their assistance in finding 91 research participants for this study: G. Scott Wakefield, Colonel US Army National 92 Guard, Ret.; Dr. Margaret Tyndall, CEO of NTL; Dr. Susan O. Wood of the Corporation 93 for Positive Change; Jennifer Hetzel-Silbert and Bernard Mohr of Innovation Partners 94 International; Anne Peyton of Yellow Brick Road Consulting; Dr. Nancy Stetson of 95 Expert on Call and Appreciative Inquiry Consulting; Ron Velin of Velin Performance 96 Works; Franne McNeal of HR Energy; Dr. Karen Norum of Gonzaga University; and Dr. 97 Sherene Zolno of the Leadership Institute of Seattle.

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    Transformative Learning in the Appreciative Inquiry Event

99 Dedication

    100 I would like to dedicate this dissertation to the research participants for sharing so 101 willingly their very personal experiences with me. Their stories of courage, positive 102 change, and possibilities gave me the strength to continue.

    103 This work is also dedicated to the next generation of my family; Emily, Julia, 104 Tommy, Nicole, Evan, JJ, Adam, and Holly. I hope this inspires you to reach further, 105 and further, from what is comfortable and toward what is possible. Further, I would like 106 to dedicate this dissertation to my family, one and all. Especially to my Grandmother, 107 Helen Roy Hall, and my Mother, Janet Hall Jefts for teaching me the importance of 108 education. My Uncle and Aunt, Robert and Valerie Hall, they are examples of great 109 educators, who showed me a wider world. My Brothers, Thomas Wood whose 110 encouragement and support started me on this path, and Robert Wood, my first student. 111 My Grandfather, Richard Hall, Father, Douglas Wood and Stepfather, Carl Jefts, for 112 teaching me to be patient, pay attention to details, do it right the first time, and don‟t be

    113 afraid to „crack a smile. I would like to thank My Sisters-in-Law, present and former: 114 Lori Knox, Beth Croteau, and Wendy Frazer, for the couches to sleep on, meals, and for 115 listening.

    116 I would like to mention Robert Brennan, my Coach at Monadnock Regional High 117 School who showed me the importance of perseverance, a quality that has served me well. 118 I am thankful to the scouts of Troop 311, Camp Carpenter, and the Daniel Webster 119 Council for showing me that I was a leader. Thanks to SSgt. Gary Dewitt and the

    th120 members of the 236 MP K-9 section for showing me how leadership should be done and 121 how a great team functions.

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    Transformative Learning in the Appreciative Inquiry Event

124 Table of Contents

    125 Page

    126 CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION .............................................................................. 1 127 Introduction ................................................................................................................. 1

    128 Theoretical Constructs ................................................................................................. 1 129 Transformative Learning.......................................................................................... 1 130 Appreciative Inquiry ................................................................................................ 3 131 Research Questions ..................................................................................................... 4 132 Chapter Two: Literature Review.................................................................................. 5 133 Chapter Three: Methods .............................................................................................. 5 134 Chapter Four: Data Analysis........................................................................................ 6 135 Chapter Five: Findings ................................................................................................ 7 136 Chapter Six: Discussion .............................................................................................. 7 137 Implications ................................................................................................................ 8

    138 CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW ................................................................... 9 139 Introduction ................................................................................................................. 9

    140 Transformative Learning ............................................................................................. 9 141 Transformative Learning History and Context ......................................................... 9 142 Research on Transformative Learning ....................................................................... 12 143 Transformative Learning in the Group Context.......................................................... 13 144 Critical Analysis of Transformative Learning Theory ................................................ 20 145 E. Taylor‟s Critique of Transformative Learning Theory ........................................... 21

    146 Other Critiques of Transformative Learning .............................................................. 25 147 Other Models of Learning and Development ............................................................. 27 148 Summary of Transformative Learning ....................................................................... 36 149 Appreciative Inquiry ................................................................................................. 37 150 Appreciative Inquiry History and Context .............................................................. 37 151 Appreciative Inquiry and Transformation .................................................................. 40 152 Discussion of the Critique of Appreciative Inquiry .................................................... 44 153 Summary of Appreciative Inquiry ............................................................................. 45 154 Positive Psychology .................................................................................................. 47

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    155 Summary of the Literature Review ............................................................................ 48 156 The Gaps in the Literature ......................................................................................... 49 157 Research Questions ................................................................................................... 50 158 CHAPTER THREE: METHODS .................................................................................. 51 159 Introduction ............................................................................................................... 51

    160 Research Design ........................................................................................................ 51 161 Sample Selection ................................................................................................... 52 162 Procedure .............................................................................................................. 53 163 Setting ................................................................................................................... 56 164 Interview Protocol ................................................................................................. 57 165 Research Protocol .................................................................................................. 58 166 Debriefing ............................................................................................................. 59 167 Data Management .................................................................................................. 60 168 Pilot Study ................................................................................................................ 60

    169 Method of Data Analysis ........................................................................................... 61 170 Summary of the Methods .......................................................................................... 65 171 CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS ........................................................................ 67 172 Introduction ............................................................................................................... 67

    173 Data Analysis ............................................................................................................ 67 174 Coding for Understanding and Meaning Making in the AI Event ............................... 68

    175 Coding for Transformative Learning ......................................................................... 72 176 Triangulating the Coded Data .................................................................................... 74 177 Profiles of the Participant‟s AI Event Experience ...................................................... 75

    178 Summary of the Data Analysis .................................................................................. 93 179 CHAPTER FIVE: FINDINGS ....................................................................................... 95 180 Introduction ............................................................................................................... 95

    181 Research Question 1 .................................................................................................. 95 182 The significance of the participant‟s AI event experience ....................................... 95

    183 Research Question 2 ................................................................................................ 107 184 The participants‟ experiences of TL ..................................................................... 107

    185 Comparing the AV, OTL and MTL Research Participants ....................................... 112

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    186 Research Question 3 ................................................................................................ 115 187 Additional Findings ................................................................................................. 117 188 Mentoring ............................................................................................................ 117 189 Loss of relationships ............................................................................................ 118 190 Summary of the Findings ........................................................................................ 118 191 CHAPTER SIX: DISCUSSION .................................................................................. 120 192 Introduction ............................................................................................................. 120 193 Discussion of the Findings ...................................................................................... 122 194 Discussion of the Significance of the AI Event Experience .................................. 122 195 Discussion of the Critique of Appreciative Inquiry .................................................. 124 196 Discussion of E. Taylor‟s Critique of TL ................................................................. 127

    197 Individual Change Versus Social Action .............................................................. 127 198 Decontextualized View of Learning ..................................................................... 128 199 Universal Model of Adult Learning ..................................................................... 128 200 Adult Development: Shift or Progression ............................................................. 129 201 An Emphasis on Rationality ................................................................................. 129 202 Other Ways of Knowing ...................................................................................... 130 203 Other Models of Perspective Transformation ........................................................... 131 204 Discussion of Other Models of Adult Learning and Development ........................... 132

    205 Discussion of Cranton‟s Model of TL ...................................................................... 133

    206 Awareness of Values and Assumptions, Questioning Values, Revision of Values and

    207 Assumptions ........................................................................................................ 133 208 Responsiveness to Trigger Events ........................................................................ 133 209 Content, Process, and Premise Reflection ............................................................ 134 210 Rational Discourse ............................................................................................... 134 211 Revision of Meaning Perspectives ....................................................................... 135 212 Discussion of J. Taylor‟s Model of TL .................................................................... 136

    213 The Role of Positive Emotions ................................................................................ 136 214 Positive Emotions and the AI Event Experience ................................................... 138 215 The Role of Positive Emotions in TL ................................................................... 138 216 Implications of this Research ................................................................................... 141 217 Using AI to promote TL in the educational setting ............................................... 141

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    218 Supporting TL in the AI event ............................................................................. 143 219 Toward a More Complete Model of TL ................................................................... 144 220 A Proposed Model of the Process of TL .................................................................. 147 221 Comparing Wood‟s Model of TL to Other Models of TL ........................................ 154

    222 Phase I ................................................................................................................. 155 223 Phase II ................................................................................................................ 155 224 Phase III .............................................................................................................. 156 225 Summary of the Discussion of the Findings ............................................................. 157 226 Limitations .............................................................................................................. 161 227 Researcher‟s Reflections on the Study ..................................................................... 162

    228 REFERENCES............................................................................................................ 165 229

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