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Empowering Solomon Islands’ beginning science teachers through the use of Appreciative Inquiry

James Porakari, Frances Edwards

2018 Solomon Islands, Pasifika

This paper reports on a study that investigated the potential of using Appreciative Inquiry for exploring the development of three beginning science teachers in the Solomon Islands. Using the four phases of an Appreciative Inquiry framework, the teachers followed a process that allowed their strengths to be identified through the analysis of their stories of best-taught lessons. The findings indicate that the teachers felt they had strengths in knowledge bases relating to planning and teaching generally, and to teaching and learning science specifically. The teachers were able to identify and suggest actions for sustaining and developing their identified strengths. Involvement in the Appreciative Inquiry process allowed the teachers to speak positively, affirming their practice, and gave them agency in planning for future professional learning. This study adds to the sparse literature on beginning science teachers’ strengths, in a Pacific context. This research suggests that through using an Appreciative Inquiry framework, beginning science teachers can be given the opportunity to identify strengths and positive elements of their teaching of science, and plan action to build on these strengths.

Science; Appreciative Inquiry; Solomon Islands; teacher development