Teaching elementary school students to solve social problems: I Can Problem Solve (ICPS)
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I Can Problem Solve (ICPS) is a school-based program developed by Dr. Myrna B. Shure, a Psychology professor in Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA. The program focuses on the cognitive processes of problem solving and emotion regulation. Children (and the adults that care for them) learn a problem solving language, and are taught to understand feelings in self and others, and to consider alternative solutions to solve problems and their potential consequences.
The ICPS curriculum uses a combination of games, stories, puppets, illustrations, and role-plays to teach these social-emotional skills.
ICPS was first developed under the name Interpersonal Cognitive Problem Solving, and has been in use since 1971’ the name I Can Problem Solve was adopted in 1992.
Research shows increases in critical thinking skills, positive and prosocial behaviors, and decreases in problem behavior following participation in the program. Furthermore, ICPS is recognized by CASEL as a “SELect” program, by Blueprint as a “promising” program, and by the Canadian Best Practices Portal as a “best practice” program.
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