Appreciative Inquiry and Practice

Transformative Narratives in Education

The Forum’s new initiative will apply principles and practices of appreciative inquiry to discover and create an appreciate renewal process to promote compelling narratives for public education. We’ll kick off this work with a book written by executive director Burrello with co-authors John Mann and Linda Beitz. We’ll support districts wanting to adopt AI practices with on-site training and additional media.

About Us

Our History

Since 1992 The Forum on Education has produced multimedia tools that improve student outcomes, and advance teacher development. Executive Director Leonard Burrello, then a professor at Indiana University, created the Forum with the proceeds of our first VHS program, the Power of 2, hosted by Dr. Marilyn Friend. In subsequent years Burrello has traveled the country discovering, and recording best practices in public education. Today the Forum is owned and operated by long-time production partner Elephant Rock Productions.

Forum projects aspire to assist public and other human service agencies in understanding and coping with change, and consequently, to address how our educational institutions must respond.

We’ve convened conferences, produced DVDs, published books, and produced the public radio program, America’s Learning. Today our media products are used by educators across the U.S. and Canada.

Our Mission

The mission of the Forum on Education is to define the changing forces that are shaping how people learn, work, and live in contemporary America, and to demonstrate how individuals and educational institutions can apply new knowledge to thrive in the future.

The Forum’s process is a simple one. We pose critical questions and provide various options so that educational institutions and individuals can develop strategies to cope with change. Our programming promises to present multiple perspectives. It will document examples of effective practice in their natural environments. We work with leading educational professionals to inform our products with the very latest techniques and research.

Dr. Marilyn Friend

Marilyn profile

I deeply believe that students with disabilities and other special needs can succeed when provided with access to the general education curriculum. When I began this work I couldn't find video materials that provided accurate information and yet conveyed the complexity of creating schools and programs that foster inclusion. Nothing seemed to quite capture the key concepts—and so my partnership with the Forum was a way to make a contribution to help educators better meet the needs of their students.

The Forum videos and books provide a flexible means for professionals and parents to learn about inclusion, co-teaching, instructional strategies, and many related topics. The programs are deliberately designed to be brief enough to use during staff development sessions after school or on teacher workdays. The manuals provide outlines of the topics included on the videos as well as questions that can be used for group discussion or individual reflection. As I travel and work with school professionals from across the country, I am often asked about materials to help educate others about inclusive practices. The products produced by the Forum are among those I most highly recommend.

The task of addressing the diversity of today’s students so that they can achieve their potential demands that educators draw on all the resources available to them. By using materials such as those produced by the Forum and forming partnerships with colleagues, the dream of creating schools that truly meet the needs of all students becomes closer to a universal reality.

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Extended Play

Twenty years of video productions has produced a staggering amount ofprogramming. Extended play links to our vimeo and youtube channels to offer rough cuts and excerpts from our vast video and audio vault.

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The Forum and Elephant Rock Productions receives many questions regarding the use and licensing of our products. Please contact us directly if we do not answer your question below. Thanks for your interest in our multimedia training products.



Leonard Burrello

Executive Director

[email protected]


Jotham Burrello

Managing Producer

(860) 477-0844

[email protected]


Marilyn Friend

Educator and Trainer

[email protected]