October 19, 2010

Teaching solution-focused skills to elementary school children

Every now and then people say things to me like: "They really should teach elementary school children solution-focused skills!" I like the idea and I know, here and there around the world, there already  are some examples of how children of this age (5-11) have been taught some of the solution-focused techniques and principles. I am curious about what you think and what you know about this and I have three questions:
  1. Do you think it would be a good idea to teach elementary school children solution-focused skills?
  2. If no, why not? If yes, what are some of your ideas about how this could be done effectively? 
  3. Do you know of any examples of how this has already been done? (If yes, tell us about it)


  1. I have gone into my elementary school child's classroom to do solution focused activities. I have them brainstorm behaviors that they see in each other that contributes to the overall learning environment. Then I get them to talk about how they observe these behaviors among each other. Then we do some scaling . And then I come back to follow up on how they are moving up the scale by doing these behaviors more.

  2. Hi RS, thanks! I am very curious how they found it and if it made a positive difference in any sense. Could you tell a bit more?

  3. Coert,

    I think teaching elementary school children SF skills is a very good idea. I like RS's method of doing it. I think it might be possible to have kids work on something they'd like to improve in their school work. Then show them how to use SF principles to keep improving. If they'd like to get better at spelling, they could define the outcome, scale where they are, look at the positive things that help them be at their current place on the scale and then create actions using that information to achieve their goal. SOmething like that could work. It could be taught in a lesson plan to all the kids and all the kids could choose an academic or a non-academic goal.

  4. Hi Rodney, I think the idea is excellent


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