Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Megan Tschannen-Moran

Committee Member

Steven Staples

Committee Member

Christopher R Gareis


Many scholars believe that school improvement and school climate are important aspects in student learning and achievement. This study takes a strengths-based approach to school improvement as well as improving school climate. The Appreciative Inquiry action research method was used to help develop a school improvement plan and attempt to improve school climate at a rural elementary school. The Appreciative Inquiry process uses the 5-D cycle of Define, Discover, Dream, Design and Deploy to help organizations look at how and in what areas the organization is thriving in to help in areas where they are looking for better results. Data were generated from two main stakeholder groups that participated in this study: parents and faculty and staff. The data were gathered at the end of the Appreciative Inquiry process by examining what the design teams created in their groups based on the major themes reveled in the form of Provocative Propositions/Possibility Statements, Commitments, Offers and Requests and then compared to a template to see if what they created aligned with what the state said qualified as a school improvement plan. The stakeholders also participated in filling out a reflection survey at the end of the Appreciative Inquiry process to determine if the Appreciative Inquiry process had a positive effect on the school. The results found in the data were positive as they related to both helping develop a school improvement plan and having a positive effect on the school climate.




© The Author