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About the Observatory

Welcome to the home of the International Observatory for School Climate and Violence Prevention (Observatory).

Historically, the Observatory has focused on supporting K-12 violence prevention research. The Observatory’s headquarters have recently moved from Paris, France to Adelaide, Australia and Flinders University.

The Observatory is now a part of the Student Wellbeing and Prevention of Violence Center (SWAPv) at Flinders University, Australia.

Recognizing, supporting and helping to disseminate original research will continue to be a major focus for the Observatory. In addition, the Observatory is expanding its focus in two  important ways. First, we are also focused on understanding and furthering the foundation for effective violence prevention efforts: Systemic and instructional universal improvement efforts that are intentionally designed to support wellness, social emotional and academic development and safe, supportive, equitable and engaging climate for learning. And, secondly we are invested in furthering meaningful conversations between research, policy and practice leaders.

Our mission

The mission of the International Observatory for School Climate and Violence Prevention is to contribute to best practices and the science of school climate and other prosocial e.g. (social emotional learning/SEL, character education, mental health promotion) K-12 school improvement as well as violence prevention efforts that support school safety and children’s development, school and life success across the world.

What are our goals?

The International Observatory of Violence in Schools is a non-governmental organization of which aims are:
• To advance the science of school climate and other prosocial e.g. (SEL, character education, mental health promotion) K-12 school improvement as well as violence prevention and school safety efforts that support children’s development, school and life success.

• To support helpful research-policy-practice conversations that promote effective and sustainable school climate, SEL and violence prevention efforts.

The Observatory supports international research about individual and school wide improvement efforts that are designed to promote K-12 wellbeing, social emotional, civic and academic learning as well as safe, supportive, equitable and engaging climates for learning that promote school and life success.

The Observatory is invested in furthering conversations between research, policy and practice leaders that foster the healthy development of individual students, school communities and an engaged citizenry. 

We hope that you will join us – as research, policy and/or practice learners and leaders – in furthering understandings and collaborative learning that supports all children to be able to learn and grow up in healthy ways.

Jonathan Cohen and Grace Skrzypiec



Grace Skrzypiec, Ph.D. (Flinders University)

In 2018 Grace Skrzypiec was elected along with Jonathan Cohen, as Co-President of the International Observatory on School Climate and Violence Prevention, proudly bringing the Observatory base to Flinders University, South Australia.

Grace currently leads an international peer aggression and well-being study involving 12 countries and over 7000 students, which is the subject of a book (A Global perspective on peer aggression and Well-being) and several conference papers and journal articles.

Grace has and continues to undertake special projects for educational stakeholders such as the Department for Education in South Australia, and Education Australia Services, as well as other international stakeholders including the Ministry of Education, Malta. 

At Flinders University Grace is aldo the Co-Director with Phillip Slee of the Student Well-being and Prevention of Violence (SWAPv) research centre and a senior lecturer in the College of Education, Psychology, and Social Work. Grace teaches post-graduate students in research methods and statistics and in 2014 she was the recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Early Career Researchers in recognition of outstanding contributions to excellence in research. She also supervises postgraduate students undertaking Masters, EdD and PhD studies. She has authored 4 books with colleagues and countless research papers and reports.

Jonathan Cohen, Ph.D. (Teachers College, Columbia University)

Jonathan Cohen, Ph.D. is the co-president of the International Observatory for School Climate and Violence Prevention; and, co-founder and President Emeritus, National School Climate Center (NSCC).

Jonathan is an Adjunct Professor in Psychology and Education (Clinical Psychology), Teachers College, Columbia University; elected chair, School Climate, Culture & Community Special Interest Group, American Educational Research Association; and a practicing clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst. He was a member of the Council for Distinguished Scientists at the Aspen Institutes’ National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development and a member of the Educational Advisory Council for He is a Diplomat in Clinical Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology. 

He is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed papers, chapters and briefs as well as six books. Two of Dr. Cohen’s books have been awarded the American Library Association’s Choice for an Outstanding Academic Book Award in 1999 (Educating Minds and Hearts: Social Emotional Learning and the Passage into Adolescence) and 2001 (Caring Classrooms/Intelligent Schools: The Social Emotional Learning of Young Children) that were both published by Teachers College Press. 

He has and does consult to UNICEF’s Child Friendly Schools Program, the World Bank, and a growing number of educational ministries around the world.

Who we serve

Historically, the Observatory has served and supported researchers who study K-12 school-based violence prevention efforts. 

Supporting research on violence prevention as well as wellbeing, school climate and other prosocial improvement efforts (e.g. social emotional learning, character education, mental health promotion) that provide an essential foundation for effective and sustainable school improvement efforts continues to be a central focus for the Observatory. 

We also aim to serve and support policy and practice leaders.

In theory, research shapes policy, which in turn drive practice guidelines and recommendations. 

The Observatory is invested in recognizing and furthering understandings, needs and the goals of policy and practice as well as research leaders.

Observatory Values


A commitment to and shared responsibility for the quality of the activities and achievement of the outcomes that are being pursued


A commitment to work with another person or group in order to achieve or do something


A commitment to addressing disparities and ensuring access to opportunities for improvement


the integration of the best available evidence into planning and decision-making


Acceptance of different research approaches and suggestions


A commitment to being honest and having strong moral principles


A commitment to being on-ongoing learners


Admiration and appreciation for research as well as practice and policy colleagues who partner in this work

Observatory History

Professors Eric Debarbieux and Catherine Blaya founded the Observatory in 2004. The initial focus of the Observatory and the 18 nations that joined together in this effort was school violence prevention research. In addition to organizing international research meeting (every two years), the Observatory founded a journal.

The International Observatory of Violence in Schools was officially declared as an Association governed by the French « Law of 1901 » on the articles and rules applicable to Associations. It therefore has official legal status (financial management, official membership, power to convene General Assemblies, etc.). In 2018, the Observatory’s home is in the process of moving from France to Flinders University, South West Australia.


The IOSCVP has established excellent relationships with a variety of organizations including research centers, schools, professional bodies and Non-Governmental Organizations.

Just as all meaningful and sustainable school improvement efforts are necessarily a team effort, the Observatory is invested in furthering partnership with other national and international organizations that potentially support all of us being even more effective in furthering learning and school improvement efforts.

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