Solutions Focused Special Education Online Course


This 9-module study guide course has been developed to share some of my thinking and others who are well positioned to comment on a range of strategies and approaches in implementing a Solutions Focused approach in schools and explores Solutions Focused Special Education Practical and Inclusive Strategies For All Educators book to support knowledge and implementation of the ideas contained within the book.

Participants will need to have purchased the book which forms the basis of the course - available at Amazon as an e-book or at Jessica Kingsley Publishers as a physical book.

Reviews of the Book

Professional Reviews:

This book provides a useful precis of some ways to employ the insights from solution-focused brief therapy within the context of special education. It draws on methods applied in several different countries and applied by well-known practitioners in the field. The contents are clearly presented and easy to follow. The emphasis on SF coaching is especially valuable for the UK at this time. I would recommend a copy of this book to every team working with those with special needs. -- Dr Alasdair J Macdonald, Consultant Psychiatrist and Family Therapist (retired)

This book is a much needed resource to support educators to move beyond the traditional special education model and consider 'practice-based evidence' to support future policy and practice. The chapters present a unique blend of research and stories from the field that will support new ways of thinking for teachers and school principals working in special and mainstream schools. -- Suzanne Carrington, Professor and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia

Customer Review:

The longer you work in special education, the better you understand the system. The better you understand the system, the more obvious it's inadequacies and redundancies become. The confusing legality, the endless paperwork, the focus on deficits/disability labels, all of it feels stagnant, inauthentic, and detached from the real difficulties and experiences of the students and families we serve. In fact, I have repeatedly experienced the current system impede my ability to help and complicate common sense solutions that everyone agrees with. The problem is that we get very good at doing the best we can with what we have, so good that we miss the forest for the trees and begin blaming each other for things that none of us are at fault for.

I started reading this book and all of my intuitions were clarified and laid out in front of me better than I could have expressed myself. The philosophy of a solutions focused approach to special education helped me see exactly what's missing from the current system, helps me imagine how much better it could be, and it better aligns with my values as an educator. This is not another band-aid intervention to lay on top of all else we're expected to do in schools, it's also not new policy designed to "help" us better meet the unrealistic expectations of the existing system, it's a new and practical approach that could help the system work for us and for those we serve. It's also not simply theory, it's been applied and continually refined in countries across the world.

Those of us who have built careers based on a desire to help those in need, we should demand better from the system we find ourselves in. Not just for ourselves, but for those we serve who don't have the voice to demand it themselves. What's difficult is knowing what to ask for, but after reading this book now I feel like I have a better idea. The only reservation I have is that the current system is too legalized, politicized, and rigid to change in the ways we need. But, the answer to that lies in the name of the approach and title of the book, which encourages a focus on solutions and not problems.

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