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Approaches to Learning in Early Childhood: Collaborative Problem Solving

Approaches to Learning in Early Childhood: Collaborative Problem Solving


Course Description

Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) is an evidence based practice founded in neurobiology and the understanding that “children do well if they can”. Participants will develop an understanding of “skill versus will” in relation to challenging behavior as well as identify the areas addressed by the Thinking Skills Inventory in order to apply those characteristics to interventions and instruction.

Course Objectives

Understanding of the shift in thinking toward “skill vs. will” and the limits of conventional thinking and operant strategies.
Application of the CPS assessment process including completion of the CPS Assessment and Planning Tool.
Awareness of the intersection of PBIS and CPS – what the role is of each and how they work together to meet the needs of children.
Planning and preparation for CPS work to be completed in the 2019-2020 school year and beyond.


Brooke Bonanomi has been working as an EI/ECSE Specialist with Willamette ESD for 7 years now. She has spent time as an ASD consultant, intensive classroom teacher, mentor and coach. Her journey with Collaborative Problem Solving began in her intensive classroom over 5 years ago. She is now a CPS certified practitioner and shares her passion for this model and approach to working with children with challenging behaviors with other EI/ECSE professionals around the state through her work as an external state coach.

Tonya Coker, MA Ed. is program coordinator for Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE) at Willamette Education Service District in Salem, Oregon. She is a licensed special educator with a TSPC specialization in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Prior to her current role as an administrator Tonya was an ASD Specialist for over 10 years working with children Birth to age 21. She is identified as a certified trainer in the Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) model by Massachusetts Hospital and the Think: Kids Network.