The New School

The New School

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Leonardo Project

Action Research – A European Project

The New School is currently involved in an exciting project based on the development of Collaborative Problem Solving methodology developed by Dr Ross Greene. Information on this can be found on the website www.livesinthebalance.org

European funding (Leonardo) has been granted for three schools to work together on developing Collaborative Problem Solving – The New School, Butterstone, Efus Schools in Gothenburg, Sweden and Sondre Skole in Grinstead, Denmark. The three schools are developing Ross Greene’s methods which are based on the precept that ‘if kids

could do well they would

do well. In other words, if the kid had the skills to exhibit adaptive behavior, he wouldn’t be exhibiting challenging behavior. That’s because doing well is always preferable to not doing well.’

Dr Ross Greene states:-

‘Fortunately, we’ve learned a lot about challenging kids in the past 40 years. We now know that they’re lacking skills, not motivation...skills like flexibility/ adaptability, frustration tolerance, and problem solving. That knowledge makes it possible for us to help these kids in ways that are much more humane, compassionate, and effective.’ Where standard ‘reward and sanction’ models of adapting behaviour fail, Collaborative Problem Solving’ allows staff, parents and young people themselves to dig deep to indentify the problem and to find a solution. Currently groups are working to help young people become more organised and manage their time effectively, to become more independent and to manage friendships better.

The project is nearing the end of its first year. A core group of staff – four teachers and four Care Support workers are involved in trialling Collaborative Problem Solving methodology. They are taking part in exchange visits with our Swedish and Danish colleagues. In August they will attend a three day training course in Gothenburg with Ross Greene. On their return from exchange visits they share their experience with school staff. Working in pairs they tease out what has worked well and what could be improved. It is a tremendous learning curve and is already benefitting our students.
Leonardo Project

Working together in Gothenburg