RESCUR: Surfing the Waves, Sweden
Surfing the Waves is a resilience curriculum to foster the psychosocial
development of children in early and primary education (ages 4–12 years). It
has been developed as a direct response to the current social and economic
situation in Europe. The curriculum seeks specifically to promote the academic,
emotional and social learning of children who may be at risk of early
school-leaving, absenteeism, school failure, social exclusion and mental health
problems, by providing them with key tools to overcome disadvantages and
obstacles in their development whilst making use of their strengths.
curriculum (RESCUR) has been developed in a European research collaboration within a Comenius project (2012-2015) between
6 European universities (in Malta, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Portugal and
It is an
educational material aimed at strengthening children and giving them tools to
meet and deal with difficult situations, i.e., at strengthening European
children’s resilience. The
concept of resilience, which is central, refers to the ability to manage
crises, changes and stressors without being broken down by them.
(You can read
more about the Comenius project at https://www.rescur.eu)
The RESCUR project
in Sweden consists of a RCT study of the Resilience Curriculum (RESCUR)
that is taking place 2017–2019. The study is being
performed by Junis, IOGT-NTO’s Junior Association, part of IOGT International, in
conjunction with researchers at Göteborg, Umeå and Stockholm universities, and
is being funded by the Public Health Agency of Sweden.
The RESCUR educational
material is presently being implemented and evaluated in Sweden. It is designed
to strengthen protective factors and to prevent inter-generational problems
related to alcohol and drugs.
1,000 children of the ages 7–12 will, through their schools and associations,
or via groups in social services, be part of this implementation and effect
study. The effects of the
method on protective factors and resilience will be measured using a randomized,
controlled pre-post follow-up design in school classes. We will study the
effects both statistically and with regard to practical relevance. We will use
our waiting list to create a control condition. In this way, we can apply the
principle of giving everyone who so wishes the chance of receiving the
intervention. Groups in social services will not be randomized.
will learn and practice mindfulness, storytelling, group discussions and much
more, all designed to strengthen protective factors and increase their
resilience. The program also involves parents,
who are taking part in the work to reinforce children’s protective capacities.
study will address the question of what importance the RESCUR program has for
children’s development and mental health. It will also consider the issue of
whether the program is applicable irrespective of gender, social background and
age. Further, it considers how participants in and leaders of the program
groups can be recruited and supervised.
(You can read more about
the on-going research in a paper published in
BMC Public Health: Design and Implementation of RESCUR in Sweden for promotingresilience in children: a Study Protocol)
is based on the following six themes, where each theme is divided into sub-themes.
Clear goals are described for all exercises, which provide the basis for the
practical implementation of the method. The exercises are divided into three optional
levels of difficulty (basic, intermediate and advanced level) to ensure that
the exercises suit the target group and its needs.
communication skills: effective communication, and assertiveness.
and maintaining healthy relationships: healthy relationships, and cooperative
skills, empathy and moral reasoning.
3. Developing a
growth mindset: positive and optimistic thinking, and positive emotions.
self-determination: problem solving, and empowerment and autonomy
5. Building on
strengths: positive self-concept and self-esteem, and using strengths in
academic and social engagement
challenges into opportunities: dealing with adversity and setbacks, dealing
with rejection, dealing with loss, dealing with family conflict, dealing with
bullying, and dealing with change and transition.
Rescur: Surfing the Waves
It should be
stressed that the RESCUR program is not intended to replace actions taken at
structural level by municipalities or county councils; successful promotive and
preventive work needs to be implemented at many levels and by many different
actors. RESCUR is a body of educational material that complements other efforts
made by society to provide children and relatives with improved protective tools
so that they, in difficult circumstances, can not only handle their situation
but also be strengthened by it. In other words, it is about helping children to
get the best life chances they possibly can.
RESCUR: Surfing the Waves
A Teacher’s Guide
Scientific publications on RESCUR Surfing the
Waves and RESCUR in Sweden
Matsopoulos, A., Bartolo, P., Galea, K., Gavogiannaki, M., Assunta Zanetti, M.,
Renati, R., Cavioni, V., Miljevic-Ridicki, R., Ivanec, T.P., Saric, M., Kimber,
B., Eriksson, C., Simoes, C., Lebre, P. (2014). A Resilience Curriculum for
Early Years and Elementary Schools in Europe: Enhancing Quality Education. Croatian Journal of Education, 16 (2):
Cavioni, V., Bartolo, P., Simoes, C., Ridicki Miljevic, R., Bouilet, D., Pavin,
I., Tea; Matsopoulos, A., Gavogiannaki, M., Zanetti, M.A., Galea, K., Lebre, P.,
Kimber, B., Eriksson, C. (2015). Social inclusion and social justice: a
resilience curriculum for early years and elementary schools in Europe. Journal of Multicultural Education, 9(3):
Eriksson, C., Kimber, B., & Skoog, T. (2018). Design and implementation of RESCUR
in Sweden for promoting resilience in children: a study protocol. BMC
Public Health, 18. Doi: 10.1186/s12889-018-6145-7