University of Pennsylvania, Masters of Applied Positive Psychology Program
Dissertations & Theses
Access full dissertation here: Teaching Beautiful Questions
Learning to ask the right questions and being empowered to dream is essential to 21st century education. In an effort to create innovative citizens who are able to compete in our increasingly diverse and competitive world, youth can be taught how to discover and build on successful aspects of the past, dream creatively about the future, ask positive questions to design plans, and deliver action. These four components, discovering, dreaming, designing, and delivering, are the mainstays of Appreciative Inquiry (AI), a positive approach to organizational development. In recent years, AI has been increasingly utilized with youth. Teaching AI facilitates the potential to unlock youth’s capacity to identify strengths, build creativity, and ask the right questions to incite action. This positive educational tool stimulates the well-being of youth through an increase in positive emotion, engagement, relationship-building, meaning, and achievement. This author’s capstone suggests that AI principles can be taught to youth in order to improve innovation and well-being. Further, this capstone recommends that literature is one meaningful method to instill and teach AI principles prompting wide scale change. As a result, an AI children’s picture story book is proposed to accomplish this goal.