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TITLE OF GOOD PRACTICE:

Olweus-Prevention-Programme

KEYWORDS:

Bullying and violence prevention

GOOD PRACTICE TYPOLOGY:

Transnational Project

TARGET GROUPS:

Pupils of all grades

WORKING GROUP COORDINATING THE INITIATIVE:

For example Landesinstitut für Schule und Medien
(LISUM) Brandenburg

COUNTRY WHERE IT TOOK PLACE:

Large number of European countries

LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW:

English

DEFINITION OF TARGET GROUP:

Parents, Teachers, Young People, School Directors.

DESCRIPTION OF THE GOOD PRACTICE:

The Olweus Prevention Program is a violence prevention project, which has three main objectives: problems with violence in schools should be reduced or eliminated, new violence acts should be prevented and the relationship between students within the school should be improved.

The aim is to reduce violence and create a good relationship between pupils, so that there are fewer victims and perpetrators. Instead, two conditions must be fulfilled: firstly, the program managers (teachers and parents) know the level of violence at the school. For this Olweus (2007) has developed a "bullying questionnaire for students, which is filled out prior to implementation. The students anonymously evaluate the violence situation of the school so the project team get an idea of it. As a second condition teachers and parents have to be serious about wanting to bring about a change. Important priorities of the program to achieve the main objectives are:
- Strengthening social skills
- Set and enforce ules for social interaction
- Joint effort of all parties
- Total work against bullying


The program is implemented at three levels:
1. School level
- Improving the quality of hall monitoring
- Redesign of the school yard
- Contact phone that enables students to talk to a trusted person
- Teacher training to improve the social environment at school

2. Class level
- Set clear rules against violence
- Class discussions (Are the rules observed? Are the rules making sense?)
- Cooperative learning
- Action-oriented and everyday life orientated teaching (discussion of current problems in the classroom)
- Cooperation of teachers and class parents speakers

3. Individual level
- Conversations with victims and offenders and their parents
- Help in the family
- Discussion groups of parents, perpetrators and victims

INDICATORS:

Definition of bullying or cyberbullying, Help-line/counseling, Parent training/meetings, Disciplinary methods, Classroom management, Teacher training, Classroom rules, Whole-school anti-bullying policy, Information for parents, Cooperative group work, Peer support.

EVALUATION:

In addition to evaluation studies from the USA and Norway, in the meanwhile evaluation results of the Olweus program in Germany are implemented (Harewinkel and Eichler, 1999; Harewinkel and Knaak, 1999). A total of 36 schools were accompanied with the implementation of the program. It used a pretest-posttest design with no comparison group. The first time of the survey took place for all participating schools in June 1994. The second survey took place in two schools after a year for five other schools after 1.5 years and for 30 schools after two years. The following results were gathered:
In the pre-survey 19% of the students reported to have been victims of bullying attacks. Half of bullying cases took place in class internally. Most offenders were in the middle grades, to find the most victims in lower grades. The intervention of the teacher was rated by students as weak.
The outcome evaluation showed that the exchange between teachers and victims and between parents and victims remained unchanged and that the interaction between teachers and perpetrators and between parents and perpetrators even slightly got worse. The amount of victims collected in the bullying-questionnaire fell from 29.1% to 26.9%. This didn’t apply for grammar schools, where the amount of victims even increased.
A possible explanation for the negative program effectiveness, it was indicated that the questionnaire used in upper secondary education may not be considered as an appropriate instrument. It also was reported as problems in implementation a different program focus and the a lack of motivation in teaching staff to implement the program (conflicts between colleagues, low cooperation, management problems). Since no comparison group was used, the reported results are to be regarded as preliminary. But costly methodical evaluation studies from other countries could report consistently positive efficacy effects of the program. To verify the above listed results, therefore, further, methodologically appropriate evaluation of the German version of the program would be recommended.
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REFERENCES TO OTHER EVALUATION:

This summary was created by the Technical University of Dresden in collaboration with the BGAG - Institute for Work and Health of the German accident insurance, Dresden.

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