Book by Bloom, Jennifer L., Hutson, Bryant L., & He, Ye
Review by Nancy G. Howell
Supervisor of Academic Advising
College of Arts and Sciences
University of South Alabama
Mobile, Alabama

Advisors looking for a way to integrate various influences and models into a cohesive academic advising philosophy or those yearning for clear-cut practical examples of how best to encourage and support students will find that this book addressed both issues! The authors intend that “This book will not only give …the theoretical soundness that they [advisors] seek from the field of academic advising, but it also provides the tools and techniques to transform interactions with students and to impact relationships with others.” This book teaches academic advisors how to use open-ended positive questions to help students set goals, identify their strengths and sources of motivation, apply their strengths to academic situations, and devise strategies that will enable them to achieve success.

The book opens with an explanation of the theoretical foundation of Appreciative Advising. Informed by positive psychology, reality therapy, social constructivism, scaffolding, and ZPD, Bloom, Hunter, and He have expanded on the 4-D model of Appreciative Inquiry to develop six phases of Appreciative Advising: Disarm, Discover, Dream, Design, Deliver, and Don’t Settle. This book advances this extended philosophy to help students achieve their life and academic goals, devoting a chapter to each of the six  phases. Acknowledging that first impressions often set the stage for advising relationships, during the ‘Disarm’ phase advisors should allay any fears and anxieties the student might have about meeting with an advisor. During the ‘Discover’ phase, advisors ask open-ended positive questions to build rapport and learn about the student’s strengths, skills, and abilities. The Appreciative Advising Inventory, a tool for helping students discover their strengths and abilities, is included and available for use by advisors. Uncovering the student’s hopes and dreams of the future occurs in the ‘Dream’ phase. Once those dreams have been articulated, the ‘Design’ phase is spent building a collaborative plan to make the student’s hopes and dreams come true using the strengths that were discovered in the ‘Discover’ phase.  Implementing the plan is part of the ‘Deliver’ phase. The student carries out his/her plan with the advisor’s support and encouragement. The ‘Don’t Settle’ phase involves challenging the student to achieve his/her fullest potential by encouraging the student to raise his/her own internal bar for self-expectations.  A particularly helpful feature of the book is the Toolbox section at the end of each chapter, where specific examples and sample questions are provided pertaining to the specific phase.

There are also chapters on program development and program assessment using Appreciative Advising techniques. The book concludes with an explanation and illustration of the research into Appreciative Advising’s success at various institutions of higher education and a discussion of the future of Appreciative Advising. The Appreciative Advising Revolution is not a lengthy book and is easy to read, but it holds within its pages the potential for powerful change, both for greater student success and in the professional development of academic advisors who can positively affect student’s lives.

The Appreciative Advising Revolution (2008) Book by Bloom, Jennifer L., Hutson, Bryant L., & He, Ye. Review by Nancy G. Howell. Champaign, IL: Stipes.174 pp., $29.95, ISBN # 978-1-58874-807-2
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