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Age From: 


Age To: 


Delivered To: 

  • Children/Students


  • Component 2 : Social and emotional learning for students


  • Social and emotional skills

Special Student Group: 

  • Lower socioeconomic/disadvantaged


Target group:
The ICPS curriculum is universal and thus can be conducted with the whole classroom.

Designed for, or demonstrated applicability to, special groups:
This program is especially effective for children aged 4-5 years and 10–12 years from low socio-economic, urban backgrounds that may be at highest risk.


I Can Problem Solve (ICPS) is an interpersonal problem-solving curriculum with 59-83 lessons per year designed to prevent anti-social behaviours. It helps children learn to generate solutions to everyday problems, consider others’ points of view and possible consequences of an act, and arrive at non-violent solutions to conflict. It focuses on encouraging children to come up with many solutions to problems on their own.



The curriculum provides extensive guided practice in using the skills needed to resolve conflicts constructively (e.g., recognising and labelling emotions in oneself, considering the other’s perspective, and generating alternative solutions before acting). The program makes good use of role-plays and dialoguing between students and teachers to facilitate the children’s ability to successfully negotiate solutions to real life conflicts arising in the classroom.

ICPS for Preschool contains 59 lessons, Kindergarten and Primary Grades contains 83 lessons, and for the Intermediate Elementary Grades, 77 lessons. ICPS teaches children how to think, not what to think. It is a self-contained program that involves the use of games, stories, puppets, and role-plays to make learning enjoyable. Each lesson contains a teacher script, reproducible illustrations, and a list of readily available materials.

Program Structure / Methods of Delivery: 

The ICPS program for preschool, kindergarten and primary grades, and the intermediate elementary grades includes both formal lessons and specific suggestions for incorporating ICPS principles in classroom interactions and the curriculum.

Students receive:

Pre-Problem-Solving Skills

  • Learning a problem-solving vocabulary
  • Identifying one’s own and other’s feelings
  • Considering other people’s points of view
  • Learning sequencing and timing of events

Problem-Solving Skills

  • Alternative solutions
  • Considering consequences
  • Solution-consequences pairs
  • Means-ends thinking

Parents are also given informational resources for parents of preschoolers that explain how to use the ICPS model at home.

A parent workbook, Raising a Thinking Child, is available to purchase which helps to reinforce classroom skills at home.

Staff professional development (PD):
Professional development is not compulsory but can be arranged. Contact the author at


  • Preschool: $79
  • Kindergarten and primary school: $84
  • Intermediate Elementary books: $84

If order is over $85 delivery is free, otherwise it is $4. Order form available on website.

Program Specific Audience: 


Structured Sessions: 


Student Assessment Measures: 


Professional Learning Compulsory: 


Formal Parent/Carer Component Provided: 

Evidence of Effectiveness

Evidence of Effectiveness Rating: 


Evidence of Effectiveness Description: 

Multiple studies document positive behavioural outcomes at post-test, with at least one study indicating positive behavioural impacts at follow-up at least one year after the intervention ended.

Competency 1 : Self Awareness: 


Competency 3 : Self-management: 


Competency 4 : Responsible decision-making: 


Competency 5 : Relationship skills: 


Identified Theoretical Framework: 


Identified Theoretical Framework Description: 

The program is based on the principles of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and interpersonal problem solving skills.

Survey/Audit Tools Available: 



Boyle, D., & Hassett-Walker, C. (2008). Reducing overt and relational aggression among young children: The results from a Two-Year Outcome Evaluation, Journal of School Violence, 7, 27-42.

Ciancio, D., Rojas, A. C., McMahon, K., & Pasnak, R. (2001). Teaching oddity and insertion to Head Start children: An economical cognitive intervention. Applied Developmental Psychology, 22, 603-621.

Feis, C. L., & Simons, C. (1985). Training preschool children in interpersonal cognitive problem-solving skills: A replication. Prevention in Human Services, 3, 59-70.

Kumpfer, K. L., Alvarado, R., Tait, C., & Turner, C. (2002). Effectiveness of school based family and children’s skills training for substance abuse prevention among 6-8 year old rural children. Psychology of Addictive Behaviour, 16, 65-71.

Shure, M. B., & Healey, K. N. (1993). Interpersonal problem solving and prevention in urban 5th- and 6th-graders. Paper presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Toronto, Canada.

Shure, M. B., & Spivack, G. (1982). Interpersonal problem-solving in young children: A cognitive approach to prevention. American Journal of Community Psychology, 10, 341-356.



Myrna Shure

About the Author(s): 

Myrna B. Shure, PhD is a research professor of psychology at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, USA. She is the author of seven books for researchers, parents, and teachers, and numerous journal articles documenting her research. Her I Can Problem Solve program for schools has been recognised as evidence-based by several national agencies including the US Office of Education, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, the Center for the Study of Prevention and Violence, and three task forces of the American Psychological Association. Her program Raising a Thinking Child for families (now available in Spanish) has been recognised as Exemplary by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Dr. Shure was recognised by the American Psychological Association initiative Psychology Matters, for her research that has valuable applications and makes a difference in people’s lives. Myrna can be contacted via email at

Contact Information: 

Footprint Books
1/6a Prosperity Parade
Warriewood, NSW. 2102
Phone: (02) 9997 3973
Fax: (02) 9997 3185