What Are The Four Rooms

Four Rooms of Change Origins

The first school in the world to implement the program was the Vasaskolan in Strangnas, Sweden, where Ulla Janssen worked. Ulla's success with the program in the year 2000 led to its expansion accross Vasaskolan school and eventually to other schools across Scandinavia.

The program came to Australia in 2010 when a group of school leaders were invited to a two-day workshop conducted by Bengt Lindstrom and Drusilla Copeland from A&L Partners, Sweden. Four of the schools elected to participate in the pilot project and they were later joined by two other schools for the March 2011 commencement of the program, Point Lonsdale Primary School in Victoria was one of these six schools.

Each of the six schools made a commitment to training teachers, participating in ongoing teacher development, enabling student participation in the research project, providing access to control groups, and a substantial financial contribution to fund the pilot project.

Four Rooms of Change Program

For a school environment there are primarily two dimensions to the Four Rooms Program:

  • Staff Development – using the program to work to build staff cohesion, to work to build a common language among staff and in particular to provide staff with insights to assist them in any change process.
  • Student Development – to build social and emotional intelligence among children and thereby reduce anti-social behaviours (bullying) and increase empathy and group efficacy.

Four Rooms of Change is a psychological theory that helps people to understand their emotions and behaviours – particularly in the context of change – and helps them to manage their experiences by taking responsibility for their emotions and actions. At its simplest level the theory says that there are four frames of mind that we all experience. Using his decades of research Claes Janssen has developed a theory about how we move from one state of mind to the next and of the behaviours that we are likely to display when we are under pressure – such as when we experience change.

The Four Rooms are (see image above):

         1.       Contentment
         3.      Inspiration
         2.      Self-Censorship
         4.      Confusion


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