For a few years, the KiVa Method has emerged as an effective response to bullying and bullying . We explain what this method consists of, what its objectives are and the possibilities of implementing this educational procedure in other countries.
Although it is often not visible, bullying is a real problem in schools and institutes and has a series of physical and psychological consequences for those who suffer from it. To tackle this complex issue, the Finnish educational system (always at the forefront) wanted to launch a program that would offer good results. After a few years of experimentation, they unveiled the KiVa method.

  • To learn more: Bullying: what it is and the 5 types of bullying.

What is the KiVa method?
This program was born in Finland in 2006 to reduce cases of bullying and, so far, it has offered excellent results. In fact, according to the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), the Nordic country occupies first place in primary and secondary education year after year , evaluating factors such as the well-being of students.
The program owes its name to the words “Kiusaamista Vastaan”, “against bullying” in Finnish, and was initially implemented randomly in some schools in the country. In view of the success, at present the program is developed in 90% of Finnish centers. Evaluating controlled trials of “over 30,000 intervention and 30,000 control students,” its efficacy became apparent.

What are its objectives
To know what the KiVa program consists of, we must ask ourselves what its objectives are.
We know that bullying does not only affect the harasser and the victim, but the entire school environment. Therefore, the objective is to act at all levels with concrete actions to stop this phenomenon. It is not about pointing out those responsible, but about reinforcing the three basic pillars of education.

1. Teachers
One of the objectives of the program is to provide teachers with the necessary mechanisms to prevent situations of harassment, which are sometimes not as obvious or visible as would be preferable. On the other hand, the KiVa method establishes a follow-up of specific cases to act accordingly and tackle them as soon as possible.

2. Children
As we have pointed out previously, bullying affects all students. There is, therefore, the need to train minors to empathize with their classmates and, if they witness a situation of bullying, report it to teachers. Another important goal of the program is to channel the bully’s negative feelings and change her value system.

3. Parents
Many parents believe that bullying is a problem outside of them, but the truth is that they are an active part of the matter. The program offersguidelines for action and information so that they can identify a situation of harassment.

What activities are carried out?
Before acting, we must prevent. And the best way to prevent it is to train students, to make them go from being witnesses of bullying to an active part of the solution . The trainers will influence the group not to encourage abuse and correct these situations even before they occur. This is an essential part of the KiVa method implementation process and addresses the underlying problem.
In general, the harasser acts covered by the approval of their peers. The message is clear: you should not laugh at the joke because there is a colleague who is suffering .

And how is it put into practice?
The director of each center chooses a team of 3 trainers who teach about 20 classes at 7, 10 and 13 years of age . These trainers not only use talks, but also audiovisual material, video games and other formats to make the experience more enjoyable and interesting for the students.
Another of the specific activities carried out is the launch of a virtual mailbox, a space where students can report possible cases of bullying anonymously. After identifying the problem, the trainers will put into practice a work of self-assessment and self-reflection to improve coexistence.
On the other hand, the victim must be shown that she is not alone in the face of abuseand that you can trust the professionals of the KiVa team. As for the harasser, it is not about imposing a punishment, but about making him empathize with the victim and recompose her value scale.
In the KiVa program, children empathize with their peers and stop being spectators. | Image by: Victoria Borodinova.
Another noteworthy detail of the program is that the KiVa team wears a reflective vest and monitors minors in the corridors and at recess time. This may seem irrelevant, but with the constant presence of the trainers, the student feels that the center and the teachers are doing something to help him. In some way, he feels more protected against adverse situations.

The KiVa method in Spain
According to various surveys, around 98% of those responsible for the Finnish centers that have participated in the program believe that coexistence has improved significantly. The efficacy of the method has also been proven in Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom . So, is it possible to transfer the KiVa method to Spanish centers?
The answer is complex.
Spain is not an exception when it comes to cases of bullying. It is estimated that more than 70% of children under 15 have suffered some type of bullying, so the Spanish education system needs to implement an effective remedy for this problem as soon as possible.
For experts, there are a number of difficulties when implementing the system in Spain. To start with, youCreating a project like KiVa requires a collaborative culture that does not exist in Spain . On the other hand, it requires an economic effort that the Spanish administrations are not always willing to face.
Although some centers in Spain have already taken an interest in the program, up to now the implementation routes have not been studied and each school and institute faces this problem in its own way.

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  • Official website of the KiVa anti-bullying program. Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland.
  • SURFACE, ANDREA. Bullying in Primary Education: KIVA and other new methods of dealing with it. University of La Rioja.
  • SOLER, PAUL. KiVa, the Finnish program against bullying, arrives in Spain. 2017. The World.