July 6, 2007

Brief solution-focused questionnaire for pupils: "Wanna do better"

The school year is nearly over. Mary, the teacher, has determined all the pupils grades for their end-of year reports and all the relevant topics of her subject have been covered. Today is the last lesson. Mary thinks about how she'll use the time. She has thought about having the pupils do some extra work. And she also has thought about showing a movie to the children. But she decides to do something different. She asks the children to complete a brief questionnaire with questions like:

* What do you think went well this year?
* What has made you proud this year?
* What are you not so satisfied about?

* How would you like next year to go?
* What will you do differently next year?
* How would you like your life to be after you will have finished school?


Mary invites the children to answer these questions and says she is very curious about how they will answer them. Some children begin to write right away. Some others have to get used to these questions first, before they start writing. Then, a few children ask if they can draw the answers instead of writing them. Mary says that is fine. One of the pupils, Ali, only writes one sentences on his paper and hands it in right away. He has written: “I wanna be a gangsta." Mary looks at the paper for a second and thinks about whether she should say something about it. She decides not to. She walks past the children who are answering the questions. After about 10 minutes Ali suddenly asks: Miss, could I have another paper? What I just wrote was a joke. Now, I wanna answer it for real." When he is finished Mary has a quick look at what he has written. The first thing she reads is: “Wanna do better at school.”

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