The Effect of Appreciative Inquiry on Children’s Listening Skills in the Context of Peaceable
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I research whether the appreciative inquiry approach can strengthen the listening skills of children in the context of the Peaceable ideas. The Peaceable Foundation strives to contribute to prepare children and adolescents for our democratic society, for which they need strong communicative skills. Having children use an appreciative inquiry approach has the potential to strengthen those skills. To measure the listening skills of nine children from the fifth grade of a Peaceable School on two occasions, I used a questionnaire with items related to the HURIER-model. I supplemented this questionnaire with a participative observation of a conversation between two or three children and interview questions about that conversation. As intervention between these measurements, I trained the children in appreciative inquiry. I found for none of the categories of the HURIER-model a statistically significant positive effect of the training on listening skills. The observation and interview did give indications that listening skills of the participants were stronger after the intervention, but I did not investigate these indications empirically. These findings give rise to follow-up research, for which it is interesting in the first place to replicate the research with some adjustments. Furthermore, follow-up research is possible about the effect of an appreciative inquiry approach on other aspects of interpersonal communicative skills and on intrapersonal communication, for example if the approach could contribute to a stronger self-image and self-esteem. It is also valuable to find out more about the possible contribution of appreciative inquiry on group dynamics between children.