Our Learning Model

Our learning model

One of the most effective, engaging and enjoyable ways we’ve found for our students to benefit from our strengths-based training is to leverage the Appreciative Inquiry framework.

Our learning model


Our character strengths training is founded on the assumption that positive attributes exist within every person and that these can be built upon to enable human potential. While recognising that weaknesses, problems, and obstacles exist, it counterbalances the brain’s natural negativity bias to help our students focus on the true, the good and the possible in any chosen domain of their life and supports them in taking practical steps to realise their goals.

our LEARNING model


Appreciative Experiential Learning is a learning approach developed at Outward Bound Netherlands, blending the Outward Bound Experience with the Appreciative Inquiry methodology. Our programmes are structured according to the Appreciative Inquiry methodology and include the following stages and questions:


A topic of development that focuses attention on what students hope to grow and see flourish in their lives. For example, “thriving at school” or “building positive and supportive relationships.” The topic will shape everything that follows.


Ask questions that surface strengths. For example, “What’s working well?” These questions aim to help students learn from the best of the past, uncover what they feel authentically proud of, and generate confidence to create positive change by surfacing stories, information, insights, strengths, and resources to build on.


Ask questions that imagine what might be possible. For example, “What might be possible if we built on our strengths?” These questions aim to help our students connect with what is meaningful and energising for them and help create a rich, multifaceted picture of the future they hope to create by surfacing hopes, amplifying strengths, and leveraging potential.


Ask questions that explore how we might bring this image of the future to life. For example, “How might we make our dream a reality?” These questions help our students generate multiple pathways to move from where they are to where they want to be in ways that align with their strengths and resources, create energy, and facilitate movement towards the desired positive change.


Ask questions that establish where we will start. For example, “What are we willing to commit to doing next?” These questions prompt small actions that promote self-organisation, invite improvisation and experimentation, and help our students stay accountable as they progress towards their chosen goals.


Ask questions that support learning and adaptation. For example, “What are we learning? What does this mean for our next steps?” These questions aim to create psychologically safe spaces to identify what’s working well, where and why the change may be struggling, what is being learned as a result, and what next steps will be taken so the energy and momentum for the changes can be sustained.

Outward Bound Netherlands

Outward Bound® and the Compass Rose are each registered trademarks of Outward Bound International. Outward Bound Netherlands is an educational non-profit organisation registered under number 63491419.


Outward Bound International

Outward Bound Netherlands is proud to be part of Outward Bound International. Outward Bound International is a membership organisation of the worldwide Outward Bound network. This network consists of 34 Outward Bound schools around the world.