Within each of us there is a deep knowing of our authentic nature and a profound desire to make a difference. Though these gifts cannot come into fruition if we are taught that who we are is wrong, or our ability to blossom is stifled. On the other hand, if we are taught from a very young age how to connect deeply with ourselves, mitigate stress, and transform beliefs that hinder our ability to thrive then we can become conscious contributing members of society.
In the spring of 2009, Nancy Marie began teaching the I Create What I Believe! program to a small, select group of gifted educators from four different schools around the United States. During the school year of 2009–2010, 570 fifth through eighth graders were then introduced to the I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB) program.
The purpose of the I Create What I Believe! Self Awareness Art Program Pilot Study was to determine if children in a classroom setting or in an after-school class, through the use of the ICWIB program, could learn to recognize and remove personal stress, and improve self-esteem, interpersonal relationships, and school performance.
All teachers saw positive benefits from the use of the program, though several, because of personal and workload stress, were unable to fulfill the complete tracking process. Instead, they opted for a more informal approach and provided us with anecdotal feedback. The numeric results posted on our website are from our “lead” teacher, who was able to complete the full tracking process for 135 sixth-grade students.
The specific areas of focus were students’ classroom participation, listening, self-initiation, self-regulation, creative problem-solving, the ability to focus for longer periods of time, accomplish more in a designated period of time, and an overall improvement of their academic performance. We were also interested to see if using the program would increase a teacher’s enjoyment of teaching, and reduce absentees and suspensions.
For more information about the I Create What I Believe! Pilot Study or to view the results: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/pilot.html