Geoffrey Walcott – The Kingston Seaview Dream-A-World Cultural Therapy ‘Scale Up’: Methods and Outcome (ASI 2015)

The Kingston Seaview Dream-A-World Cultural Therapy ‘Scale Up’: Methods and Outcome
Geoffrey Walcott, University of the West Indies
presented by Jaswant Guzder, McGill University

Jamaica has the world’s sixth highest rate of lethal violence. Following a successful multi-modal riskreduction proof of concept program for high-risk inner city children called Dream A World Cultural Therapy a 2013 Grand Challenges Canada Grant “Countering Youth and Urban Violence with a Community Engagement Cultural Therapy Program in Kingston Jamaica” provided a 240 hour scale up over 2 years for 100 dysfunctional and academically underachieving 8-year-olds and 100 control children from four primary schools in a Kingston inner city community. At three annual summer programs, and fortnightly ‘refueling’ term-time sessions the children were invited to ‘Dream-A-World’, imagining their life on a new planet. Constructing songs, poems, and dances, they presented a dramatic performance about their fantasized-world to parents, teachers and guests. Using manualized cultural therapy components of circling; centering, culturing, cognitive catalysis and capacity the process achieved qualitative improvement in academic achievement impulse control, self-confidence, group organization and authority management. The intervention group made significant improvements in Mathematics between term 1 and 3, M1=37.60, M2=51.44, p< .001. They also made significant improvements in artistic, musical and dramatic performance, resulting in measurable artistic performances by the group. Using ASEBA, Connors, WRIT and WRAT scales the study cohort showed improvement compared to the control group in their behavioural and academic performance that was statistically significant within 12 months.

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