Journal of Critical Issues in Educational Practice


appreciative inquiry, distributed leadership, organizational learning, Common Core State Standards, leadership, reform


Appreciative Inquiry (AI) introduces a new approach to educational change. Most state and federal initiatives for educational change grow out of a deficit model determined to fix problems. The emphasis of AI is upon what is right with the organization and forms the basis for new initiatives and further change. This model proposes a cycle of inquiry used by leaders who distribute leadership across their constituents. Organizational learning is a process of individual and collective inquiry that modifies or constructs organizational theories-in-use and changes practice.

The study explored the relationship of AI, distributed leadership, and organizational learning qualities that exist within the participating districts in combination with participants’ preparedness for CCSS implementation. To explore the relationships, a survey was created based on four already existing instruments. A model was proposed and path analysis was conducted. Inventories of appreciative capacities and principles, distributed leadership, and organizational learning capabilities in an educational system provided insight into the applicability of using AI as a process for implementation of the CCSS and future educational reforms. Throughout the analysis significant correlations existed and the model held. Utilizing appreciative inquiry, distributed leadership, and organizational leadership singularly or in combination within districts would strengthen CCSS implementation.

Author Statement

I have worked in education for 20 years; thirteen years as a classroom teacher and the past 6 as an administrator in the district office. I am the Director of Assessment & Accountability in the Snowline JUSD. I recently earned my Doctorate in Educational Leadership from California State University, San Bernardino.