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The Establishment of a Solution-Based Operational Culture for a School District

The City of Lappeenranta has established a project called "Everything Can Be Solved," the main goal of which is to implement a focus on problem solving as a solid part of every school in the school district. This cross-cutting experiment is focused on leadership, networking, student-staff interaction, student-to-student interaction and on the interaction between staff and guardians.

What is a solution-based operational culture?

Solution-based thinking is a practice that can be applied to problem solving and development work. It consists of three main principles:

  1. Things are not assumed, but rather resolved.

  2. The focus is on how matters and people are discussed.

  3. The fact that everything affects everything is taken into consideration for example we can change the way someone behaves by altering the way we behave.

What are the goals you are looking to achieve with the experiment?

The main goal of the experiment is to improve learning opportunities and student wellbeing in schools. In addition we look to improve the wellbeing of faculty members and develop the organization, networks and the collaboration between the school and homes. We wish to make solution-based culture a substantial part of the faculty’s work to discover a replicable model to apply in other schools as well.

How will the experiment be scheduled and how will it be put into practice?

The Lappeenranta municipality has trained seventy percent of its teachers and all the superiors in solution-based learning and problem solving. Beginning in the fall of 2016 the experiment will be trialling this method in the course of a school year in the city of Joutseno as part of the operational culture to define the practices at a grassroot level.

How does solution-based learning play into leadership development?

In practice this means making issues into goals through solutions, resources and positive thinking. Also creativity, play and humor as well as equality are key factors in communicating and thinking. We have already seen great results upon investing into training and cherishing the culture of problem solving. This can be seen in the interaction of students, parents and collaborations. It has a positive effect on school reform.

Schools involved

 Joutseno School.

Contact Information

Organization: City of Lappeenranta

Contact person: Mari Routti and Satu Harjunen

Contact email: mari.routti@lappeenranta.fi satu.harjunen@lappeenranta.fi

Lappeenranta Finland

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