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Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Solution circles

Solution circles – A quick creative problem solving tool for getting unstuck

Who does it involve:

  • A supportive group of problem solvers (6-8 people), who are committed to assisting the ‘Problem Presenter’ find solutions.
  • A ‘Problem Presenter’ who has a problem to which they are seeking solutions.
  • One member of the group who visually records a summary of the discussion (the ‘Graphic recorder’).
  • An Educational Psychologist who leads the group through the process (the ‘Process facilitator’).

Time needed:

  • 30 minutes. Those who attend will need to commit to staying for the full 30 minutes until the process is completed.

The process:
Solution Circles follow a structured six stage process, with each stage having a time allocation in order for the whole process to be complete in 30 minutes.

  1. The ‘Problem Presenter’ begins by outlining the problem, whilst the group listens.
  2. The group are then invited to ask clarification questions.
  3. Next the group are invited to generate and pose a range of solutions to the ‘Problem Presenter’ who must not respond!
  4. Then there is the opportunity for a group discussion, to explore and clarify with the ‘Problem Presenter’, which solutions brainstormed might be helpful and to discuss these further.
  5. The process then concludes with The First Step where the ‘Problem Presenter’ and the group decide on the first steps that are achievable within the next 3 days. It is crucial that at least one step is initiated within 24 hours.
  6. To finish, the group are asked for their final rounds of words to describe their experience. The ‘Graphic Recorder’ then provides the ‘Problem Presenter’ with the visual record of the discussion.