2011 Best Practice Prize

Children advise children

During her career as a teacher, Christiane Daepp realized that children are good listeners and problem-solvers. On this basis, Daepp founded the “Ideenbüro” program (“ideas office”) in 2002, in which schoolchildren help their fellow pupils to solve problems. Its basic idea is that schoolchildren who are unhappy, who feel excluded or misunderstood should have a place where they can entrust someone with their problems. Christiane Daepp noticed that smaller children can be very easily impressed by older children, and that instead of following the well-meant advice of adults, smaller children tend to orient their behavior to that of the older children. This is why the consultations offered by Ideenbüro are so efficient and effective.

The Ideenbüro is the contact point in a school for problems of all kinds, from bullying and vandalism to strained relations between teachers and pupils. It is the children of Ideenbüro who themselves take on the responsibility of solving conflict independently and to engage in the social community. Every problem is dealt with in a structured problem-solving process and results in concrete suggestions for solutions. Subsequent to the consultation, particular attention is paid to ensuring that the ideas for solutions lead to sustainable success.