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Solving Academic and Behavior Problems: A Strengths-Based Guide for Teachers and Teams

RRP - $60.45   Our Price - $59.05  Paperback
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Margaret Searle, Marilyn Swartz

  • Solving Academic and Behavior Problems

184 pages
ISBN: 9781416629481

If you are a teacher looking for a proven way to help and inspire more students, a coach searching for more effective practices to support teachers, or a school leader working to create positive, systemwide change, then this book is for you. It is a book of wish craft: a way to craft, or to make real, our most important wishes for our students. - From the foreword by Harvey F. Silver

How many times have you been stumped by a student's failure to learn? You tried everything in your tool kit, but nothing worked. Now what if there were a process that would help you pinpoint the student's specific need and design an action plan to swiftly remedy the problem? In Solving Academic and Behavior Problems, Margaret Searle and Marilyn Swartz offer just that.

This process, based on the positive psychology of appreciative inquiry, builds on what is working with students to address what is not working. It's a system of support that helps general education teachers partner with specialists and parents to learn new ways to enrich academic, social-emotional, and behavioural growth through structured conversations and a series of productive meetings of 30 minutes or less.

Using more than 25 video clips, Searle and Swartz walk you through the six basic steps of the appreciative inquiry problem-solving process:

  1. Connect with team members and stakeholders.
  2. Review the meeting focus/concern.
  3. Share a story that details when you successfully addressed the concern
  4. Establish a goal using a concise DATA framework.
  5. Design an action plan.
  6. Commit to an action.

The authors also outline how to use five whys to uncover hidden barriers to student achievement when learning isn't improving.

Each chapter contains links to online video examples, activities, reflection questions, scenarios, handy tools, and tips from practitioners. A great resource to strengthen RTI and MTSS plans and invaluable to teachers, support staff, and administrators alike, Solving Academic and Behavior Problems provides the kind of insights and guidance that expand and sharpen educators' capacity to help all students learn.

Table of Contents




Introduction: A Support System That Works

  1. A New Lens for Solving Old Problems
  2. Strengths-Based Team Conversations
  3. Nothing About Us Without Us: Student and Parent Conversations
  4. The First Meeting with a Coach
  5. Getting to the Hidden Cause with Five Whys
  6. The Student Support Team Meeting
  7. Questions Asked—and Answered

Answer Key


  • Appendix A. Strength Charts
  • Appendix B. List of Videos