'De wetmatigheid dat wie wint niet kan verliezen en wie verliest niet kan winnen wordt in dit boek behoorlijk onderuit gehaald. Oplossingsgericht werken is een methodiek die zijn basis vindt in de onvoorstelbare krachten (resources) die iedereen in zich heeft en bij zich draagt. De uitdaging is ze aan te boren. Cauffman en Van Dijk leveren daartoe een voorraad vertrouwenwekkende technieken. Een verloren wedstrijd kan winst opleveren - dat wordt op een overtuigende manier aangetoond. Uitgaan van mogelijkheden en niet van onmogelijkheden biedt de werkers in het onderwijs een hoopvol perspectief.'
Louis van Gaal, voetbaltrainer en oud-leerkracht lichamelijke opvoeding
'Mensen van nu zijn anders dan vroeger; dat geldt in het bijzonder voor de jeugd. En in dat anders-zijn zitten aanknopingsmogelijkheden. Er schuilen veelal verborgen krachten (resources) in. De schrijvers van dit boek weten er zodanig op in te haken dat het vertrouwen wekt én kansen biedt. En als het lukt, doe er meer van - daar kom je verder mee. Uitdagend en bemoedigend voor al die mensen die er écht werk van maken: jongeren hun eigen weg te helpen vinden. Respectvol bovenal.'
Max J. Hoefeijzers, voorzitter college van bestuur roc voor beroepsonderwijs en volwasseneneducatie Da Vinci College (Drechtsteden)
'Now that solution-focused principles and techniques are widely known and practiced, the cutting-edge work in this field lies in their innovative application. In this book two expert practitioners and master teachers of solution-focused practices along with their co-authors gather into one volume the ideas and ways of relating to others that can transform schools and universities into organizations that affirm and draw on the resources of all participants. Here there are wisdom and cutting-edge skills for all those responsible for building exciting and engaging educational communities where learners are eager to participate and reach for their best. Teachers, coaches, counsellors, administrators, professors, and school board members alike will find this handbook a valuable resource to which they will return again and
again as they negotiate and respond to the important challenges of creating schools that make a real difference for their learners and society at large.'
Peter De Jong, PhD, solution-focused trainer, consultant, & co-author of Interviewing for Solutions with Insoo Kim Berg
'What a resource for practitioners who desire to help students recognize their competency and realize academic success! The authors have produced a practical guide using the solution focused approach that helps students of all ages... kindergarten through university to experience and identify solutions, rather than focusing on their problems. This empowering approach taps into the resilience of students and educators and guides them all in a handy, workbook format. Educators seeking new ways to reach challenging students will find that students will listen and learn from them with respect and care. I highly recommend it.'
Linda Metcalf, M.Ed., PhD, author of Counseling Toward Solutions, 2nd Ed.
'Ik ben blij dat er nu eindelijk een boek op de markt is dat de onderwijskracht centraal stelt in zijn streven leerlingen en/of studenten zich optimaal te laten ontplooien en tegelijkertijd zelf ook vitaal te blijven. Wat we nodig hebben is een integraal oplossingsgerichte visie op het ‘bedrijf' dat onderwijs heet. Als collega's wisten Dick J. van Dijk en ik elkaar reeds lang geleden te vinden in de pedagogiek van het mogelijke en de vreugde van het haalbare. De coproductie met Louis Cauffman is doortrokken van dezelfde hoop en realiteitszin. Geestdrift om bij op adem te komen.'
Drs. Peter Sels, rector Christelijk College Nassau-Veluwe, Harderwijk
'Oplossingsgericht werken geeft je het gevoel dat het ertoe doet wat je doet, dat niemand is gehouden aan het onmogelijke en dat tegenslagen je niet onderuit hoeven te halen. Altijd weer dienen zich kansen aan, als je maar uitgaat van je individuele kracht. Dat geldt evengoed voor het 'systeem' dat school heet: het is belangrijk dat je geregeld op zoek gaat naar de dingen die wél kloppen, goed gaan. En als je ze in het hier en nu niet ziet, is er nog de wondervraag om je er een voorstelling van te maken. Dat kan op alle niveaus en biedt altijd uitzicht op een (klein) stap(je) voorwaarts. Dit boek is aanrader voor iedereen die gelooft in een betere toekomst.'
Hans Winkel, bestuursvoorzitter Stichting Algemeen Bijzonder Onderwijs Amsterdam
'Het lijkt alsof de Nederlandse jeugd in steeds grotere nood verkeert. Meer en meer worden we geconfronteerd met termen als 'risicoleerlingen' en 'kwetsbare jongeren'. We zien een therapeutische oriëntatie, met de bijbehorende psychologische labels en termen. Verlegenheid wordt 'sociale fobie', een beetje typisch gedrag 'pdd-nos', bezorgd zijn ‘angststoornis' enzovoort. In scholen bespeuren we dan ook een toenemende neiging om het beïnvloeden van emoties te beschouwen als één van de belangrijkste onderwijsdoelen. Dit boek gaat in tegen deze tendens. Het bespreekt de vraag welke persoonlijke krachten leerlingen/studenten en hun leraren ter beschikking hebben om de problemen, die er zeker zijn, aan te pakken. Wat kan er gedaan worden om je goed te voelen en beter te presteren? Wat is hierbij de rol van de (onderscheiden) medewerkers? Daarover biedt dit boek interessante informatie.'
Prof. dr. Kees van der Wolf, hoogleraar Anton de Kom universiteit Suriname
I am sure that my long time friends and mentors, the late Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg, would have read this book with great interest. They had special affection for students and teachers and were very interested in educational applications of their Solution-focused approach and Steve in particular was a great admirer of the Bruges Model. During their final years Steve and Insoo took time out from their busy schedules to "adopt" a public school, the Garza Independence High School in Austin, Texas. They visited Garza regularly for a number of years and supported and encouraged the teachers, staff and principal at Garza in their goal of implementing a solution-focused approach throughout the school.
Last January (2008) I went back to Garza to visit. I arrived early in the morning on a school day. I remembered from conversations with Insoo that Garza was located in a poverty stricken area of the city and that the majority of students were kids who had dropped out or been expelled from other schools after failing to succeed. On the way to the school I saw boarded up buildings, a variety of houses missing windows, apartment buildings and businesses that needed painting, and streets in need of repair. I saw almost no one on the streets.
Perhaps that is why walking into the school itself seemed to me such a dramatic experience. When I left the street and walked inside the main building of Garza, l I felt almost as if I had entered a different world. Walls were hung with colorful art work and informational signs and I was surrounded by lively smiling people engaged in all sorts of learning activities. Some were already engaged in class discussions, others were doing art work, and still others were hunched over books and papers reading and writing. While there was an adult in every room, the students seemed to remain focused, productive and attentive with very little adult intervention
Prominently displayed on one of the walls was the Garza Code of Honor. It read as follows:
Garza Code of Honor
At this school we will:
Demonstrate personal honor and integrity at all times.
Choose peace over conflict.
Respect ourselves and others
Posted on a bulletin board was a written description of the school's philosophy: "Imagine a high school where students are in control of their destiny. Imagine a high school that believes that a student's environment and past history does not have to decide their future. Imagine a high school that teaches that a student's family problems, and poor neighborhood do not have to dictate their personal success in school or work. Imagine a high school that considers a student's personal adversities and life difficulties as strengths that they can harness for their personal betterment. Imagine a high school that inspires hope and teaches that the small steps that a student takes can lead to big changes in their life. Imagine a high school where each principal, teacher, social worker and staff member are convinced that every student has capacities that can be built upon to assure a positive outcome for that student. Imagine a high school where at-risk and dropout youth attend school, graduate from high school, and successfully transition to college and work. Imagine Gonzalo Garza Independence High School, a solution-focused high school, where dreams come true."
It sounded almost too good to be true. But after spending the day talking to the students, teachers and Vicki Baldwin, the Principal at Garza, I realized it was completely accurate. Furthermore, the success of the Solution focused approach the school had adopted was reflected in positive test scores. The students' scores on standardized tests that were used throughout the state had consistently risen. to Garza Independence High School, once ranked among the worst in the state of Texas, now had students performing a levels comparable to schools in the most advantaged areas of the city!
We gathered in a big hall and I asked the students to tell me about how their lives had changed since attending Garza. Over and over again I heard descriptions of how they had felt alienated and in some cases abandoned by parents, caregivers and had failed to thrive in previous school settings where they were perceived as being troublesome kids. As we talked it became clearer and clearer that none of these kids were in fact troublesome, if anything it was the opposite! Instead many of them had been heavily burdened by social and familial problems and financial hardships.
I spent most of the morning sitting with the students in the large group. I had asked them to describe what it was like to attend a solution-focused high school and they generously did so. Every story contained examples of success however it had rarely been easy. In most cases, a student's current success had involved a history that included a lot of hard work in the face of adversity, and had required perseverance, faith and diligence on the part of both the student, counselors, coaches and teachers. In many cases, a student described how a particular teacher, coach or counselor had helped him or her to not give up at a time in the past when the student would have otherwise dropped out of school or in some cases, even resorted to suicide out of desperation.
Each time a kid told his or her story that day, all the other students, counselors, coaches, and teachers spontaneously applauded. It seemed to me that everyone sat up a little taller in their seats each time this happened, as I looked around the room I noticed that people's eyes were twinkling and it seemed to me that they were smiling with their whole faces, not just their mouths. Many times, a students' story brought tears to my eyes and I noticed that I was not the only one.
When teachers, counselors, coaches, parents and caregivers work together with the goal of discovering students' strengths, resources as part of the process of developing, implementing and achieving solid, attainable, rewarding goals, something almost magical happens in the process of everyday life. It is impossible to witness students and educators working and succeeding in this way without feeling uplifted oneself. It is a wonderful experience, fortunately an accessible one also. You will find all the tools and resources you need to do so within the pages of this wonderful book!
Director of the Institute for Solution-focused Brief Therapy, Co-founder and Past President of the Solution-focused Brief Therapy Association (SFBTA)