The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is a program that was designed to help the relationship amongst children, and to make the learning atmosphere safer and a more positive one for children to study and learn. It was originally designed for school aged children in elementary schools, middle schools and high schools, all between the ages of 5 and 15. Olweus is definitely effective in the high school environment with a bit of adapting to fit that age group. All children are included in this educational program, while students that are believed to be bullies and also the targets of bullies receive individualized learning in addition to the regular program.
This program, developed by Dr. Dan Olweus, a professor of psychology from Norway, has been based on the greatest amount of research on bullying, and happens to be the foremost bullying prevention program in the world. His data has been carried out since the 1970’s. The first version of this program was devised after three teenagers committed suicide in Norway, which was a response to being bullied by their peers.
The research conducted in the process of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program was not taken solely from schools in Norway. Sweden had put this program into schools by the 1990’s. This is also the decade when he worked with American schools to implement the program, along with Dr. Susan P. Limber from South Carolina’s Clemson University.
Originally designed for students in the 3rd through the 10th grades, it was also created to be adapted for students in higher grades. Although older students may need several years for the program to be successful, younger children can show effectiveness with the program in less than one year. The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is not designed to work with the bullies or victims alone, but it is a program that is to be utilized school-wide, and for all students, whether bullying is an issue with each individual student or not. It is also to be used in the classroom level, and in the community.
Goals of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program are as follows:
The Olweus program does reduce bullying in the school environment. In the past, other outcomes of the program have included the following:
Bullying is any aggressive behavior that is towards another person, whether it be other children, teachers, administrators or other adults that is intentional and that is an effort to gain an imbalance of power. This behavior is repeated over and over again without ceasing. It is an extremely serious and dangerous issue in schools.
Bullying can come in many different forms and anyone can be a bully. Girls and boys are both susceptible to being bullies and to being bullied. Almost 20% of all students claim to have been bullied at some point in their school career. This comes out to be almost one in five students, which can in turn become many children within one classroom environment.
Forms of bullying can include verbal abuse, physical abuse and cyber abuse, which is commonly used today in this present technological age. Children can be bullied because of race, sexual orientation, economic status, a physical or mental inability or simply for no reason at all. Recognizing the warning signs of bullying and knowing the impact of bullying on a student will help to understand the need in schools to address this detrimental issue.
Dan Olweus, born in Sweden, received his doctoral degree at the University of Umeå, Sweden in 1969. For around 40 years, Dan Olweus has been involved in research and intervention work on bullying among school children and youth. In 1970, he started a large-scale project which is now generally regarded as the first scientific study of bullying problems in the world. In the 1980’s, he conducted the first systematic intervention study against bullying in the world which documented a number of very positive effects of his “Bullying Prevention Program. Dan Olweus and his research and intervention group at the University of Bergen conducted several new intervention projects which brought in really good results.
Dan Olweus is a pioneer and Founding Father of research on bullying problems and as a world leading expert in this area both by the research community and by society at large. Dan Olweus ’s book Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do has been published in more than 25 different languages since 1993
What is the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program? It is essentially when a school can join a campaign to end bullying issues within its four walls, while the negative impact can greatly be eliminated within the community as well. If school administrators and teachers would join together with parents and the community in general, there is a greater impact on the community as a whole, and bullying issues have a higher chance of being eliminated in other areas as well. Implementing the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is a great way for schools, teachers, students and parents to fully understand the impact that bullying has on the children. The atmosphere for students to learn must be a safe one for children to thrive and continue with their success in learning.