Fellow Since 2013
This profile was prepared when Kjartan Eide was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
In schools across Scandinavia, young children experience boredom and inactivity during recess, inviting conflict, bullying, and poor health outcomes. Kjartan is redesigning recess in schools by adding an incentive system that urges young people to engage in physical activity and serve as role models for their classmates. Trivselsprogrammet (TL), which means Wellbeing Program in Norwegian, creates a system for active play in elementary and junior high schools that puts young people in charge. On a regular basis, students choose classmates who exemplify positive values to serve as Activity Leaders for recess games and activities. The student leaders are trained and supported in how to lead in an inclusive manner and receive tangible rewards in their communities for doing well. The incentive system not only reinforces students’ desire to serve as Activity Leaders but shifts classroom behavior towards collaboration and inclusion. As a result of the repeated practice of personal leadership, active play, and teamwork, Kjartan enables children to create a school environment that is free from verbal and physical bullying, gossip, and ostracism. As a result of TL, students enjoy increased activity and inclusiveness by their peers, schools mediate fewer conflicts among students and focus on promoting activity at recess, teachers have more time to teach, and parents observe their children feeling increasingly secure at school.