Using Appreciative Inquiry to Ignite Positive Change in Schools
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Using Appreciative Inquiry to Ignite Positive Change in Schools

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a powerful strengths-based catalyst for positive change. AI is a simple and easy to understand process drawn from Social and Positive Psychology, Neuroscience, Organisational Studies and Sociology (James, 2016). AI has been applied in schools to create positive and sustainable wellbeing initiatives (Waters and White, 2015), however, lack of time, resources and the high cost of AI facilitators has limited schools in utilising AI to its full capacity.

This workshop will introduce the AI process and how it can be leveraged to ignite and sustain positive education. Three unique case studies will be presented, providing participants with simple and cost-effective examples on how to utilise the AI process across various school contexts including; school systems, structures and practices for positive leadership, pastoral care and whole-school change. Workshop participants will have an opportunity to participate in AI activities and leave with resources to implement AI immediately back in their own school environment.

Learning Outcomes for this course include:

  • Understand the 5D model of Appreciative Inquiry
  • Understand how Appreciative Inquiry can be applied in multiple contexts in schools
  • Understand how to create buy-in for change initiatives


What our participants say...

  • While I have used AI in some form or other, today's session was structured and useful for adapting into our own schools.
  • The conversation with fellow educators has been most enriching.
  • Good takeaways for implementation.
  • Clear and concise.
  • An alternative approach to making improvement in school.
  • Good ideas surfaced and triggered good discussion.
  • More awareness on positive communication and importance of stakeholders buy-in.
  • Clear strategies and layout to take with me.
  • Practical examples on how AI is applied.

Expert Facilitator: Dr Paula Robinson

Consulting Psychologist, Author & Speaker 
– Specialising in Positive Psychology, Wellbeing and Mental Fitness for Individuals, Organisations, Schools & Communities

Paula RobinsonPrior to becoming a Psychologist, Dr. Paula Robinson had 12 years' experience as a senior manager. Her responsibilities have included strategic planning and implementation, business development, staff recruitment/retention, advertising, marketing, and sales. Dr. Robinson then decided to focus on the growth of her academic pursuits and applying her practical knowledge and experience within the profession of Psychology. Paula is currently a registered, consulting Psychologist, speaker and Managing Director of the Positive Psychology Institute specialising in the science, application and integration of traditional Psychology and Positive Psychology.

Paula has completed numerous research studies, invited keynote presentations and strategic positive change programs for government, private organisations, schools and the wider community, as well as published scientific and conference papers. Apart from presenting regularly in Australia, over the past few years, Paula has been invited to present in Hungary, France, Hong Kong, Singapore, USA, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and Doha on her work with schools, universities and organisations.

Areas of Expertise

Paula’s high-level skill sets encompass:

(a) Designing high-level applied psychological strategic planning approaches aligned to key organisational objectives, culture/climate change and business well-being to measurably improve bottom line outcomes;

(b) Practically applying and integrating the science of traditional Psychology, Positive Psychology and her PhD research on Mental Fitness across multiple contexts;

(c) Providing consultancy, lectures, keynote presentations, workshops and evidence-based coaching to individuals, organisations, schools and the wider community.


 The Positive Psychology Institute

The Positive Psychology Institute (PPI) integrates the emergent theory, research and evidence-based practice of Positive Psychology - the science of optimal functioning - with that of traditional Psychology. PPI also draws from the complimentary fields of Neuroscience, Education, and Organisational Behaviour.

We provide standard psychological services, including therapy, treatment and counselling for individuals and couples across a range of presenting issues. In doing so, we utilize focused psychological strategies, such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. A point of difference is that when appropriate we add another layer – namely, applied positive psychology and a focus on the promotion of wellbeing, resilience and preventative mental health strategies. Our registered psychologists also offer evidence-based coaching for personal and professional development.

We design and deliver Positive Education programs for schools, as well as supporting schools to implement/embed their own Positive Education initiatives. For example, our work with Knox Grammar over the past 3 years has been a world first, scientifically evaluated strategic positive education program. The Knox Positive Education Program provides a proactive, multi-level approach to create a positive school climate to support academic performance, mental fitness and the well-being of staff and students. This whole school strategy combines the science of Psychology, Positive Psychology, Positive Organisational Scholarship and Appreciative Inquiry. We also offer a range of smaller, specific services tailored to each school environment.

We co-create strategic applications with organisations in both the private and public sectors. These programs can focus on a range of interventions from organisational culture and climate to employee engagement, well-being and mental fitness programs, but are always evidence-based and geared to boost the bottom line. We also provide Mental Health training and risk management services to organisations across Australia.


Registration Details

Topic: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Ignite Positive Change in Schools

Trainer: Dr Paula Robinson

Dates: 5 June 2020 Friday

Time: 9.00pm to 5pm

Venue: To Be Confirmed

Workshop Fee:

S$350.00 per participant. If 2 or more participants from the same school/organization attend the same workshop, the discounted fee will be S$300.00 per participant for that particular workshop. Fees are subject to GST and include all training materials, tea break and a lunch.

Other Information:

Registration is on a first-come-first serve basis. No refunds will be made for cancellations or in the case of absentees. The Academy accepts replacements for registered participants who are unable to attend for whatever reasons.

School/Cluster Based Workshop Registration

If your school or cluster is keen to conduct this as an in-house programme, please contact Joseph Loy by email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or tel: 6363 0330 on the cost of conducting the workshop.

Click Here to Register