About the Founder of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
Dan Olweus, who was born in Sweden, took his doctoral degree at the University of Umea, Sweden, in 1969. From 1970 up to 1995 he was professor of Psychology at the University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway. He was director of the Erica Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden, a training institute for clinical child psychologists.
For approximately 30 years, Dan Olweus has been involved in research and intervention work in the area of bully/victim problems among school children and youth. Already in 1970, he started a large-scale project which is now generally regarded as the first scientific study of bully/victim problems in the world.
In the 1980's, he conducted the first systematic intervention study against bully in the work which documented a number of quite positive effects of his Bullying Prevention Program. Towards the end of the century, Dan Olweus and his research and intervention group at the University of Bergen have conducted several new large scale intervention projects, again gaining good results.
What is the Olweus Bully Prevention Program?
It is a school-wide effort that is an individual-oriented, preventive, problem solving program that focuses on changing norms and behavior. It is research-based and requires systematic efforts over time.
The goals of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program are to:
We well do this by following the program principles. We will perpetuate a warm and positive interest in all of our students. Adults at school will be involved by providing positive role models, by setting firm limits, and by responding to students' behaviors in non-hostile and non-physical ways.
We will have classroom meetings on a weekly basis (at least!) where topics of interest to students will be discussed. Short lessons on friendship development, resolving conflicts, and problem-solving will be given. Students might role-play typical school situations and practice supporting the more vulnerable students. Every classroom and many locations around the school will have the Olweus Bullying Prevention Pledge posted. Staff who observe inappropriate behaviors between students will intervene in a pro-active manner to support the child who was the victim, address the perpetrator, and encourage by-standers to become involved in positive ways.