About the UC study
The Dream Playbook was tested by the University of Cincinnati in a year-long study called “Promoting Optimistic Thinking in YMCA After-School Students” as part of community service and outreach program. We had a Capstone Course of psychology students help mentor YMCA after-school students on how to dream (goal setting). The UC mentors also did an assessment of the feasibility of whether this curriculum improved socio-emotional learning in the academic environment (optimistic thinking per the DESSA measure). Overall it was both an effective and fun year for both students and facilitators.
The following year a group of these UC students continued the project in an independent study and the results were published in the Pennsylvania State University Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning & Community-Based Research.
Tested in a 1-year university study
Benefits per the UC Study
The playbook had overwhelmingly positive feedback. Here are a few highlights from this year-long study in 2nd-8th grades:
- Students who completed the Playbook increased in a measure of optimistic thinking by 29% in the first semester and 17% in the second semester.
- After completing the Playbook, 100% of students reported that they were thinking more about their goals and future dreams. This led the researchers to conclude that the Playbook may be an effective tool to increase student achievement through increasing dreaming and goal setting.
- Nearly 90% of children reported looking forward to their weekly Playbook session. This led the researchers to conclude that the Playbook may contribute to improved school attendance by providing many students with an exciting reason to go to school.
- There were no differences in the positive influence of the Playbook by gender or grade
- The influence of the Dream Playbook on optimistic thinking did not depend the school.
- The students who participated in this study are ethnically and socioeconomically diverse; this demonstrates the relevance and usefulness of the playbook for a diverse group of children.
- More about working with groups
The study concluded that Dream It! is an effective, evidenced-based tool for teaching social-emotional skills and increasing optimistic thinking that is enjoyed by all students.
More stories about our original research
We have collaborated on 4 research projects so far, each one using the scientific process and building on the methods of the previous studies. We have also done some test workshops and ongoing literature reviews to make sure everything we do is evidence based.
Highlights from our recent study, including lots of pictures and graphs. The purpose of this research is to evaluate student and teacher perspectives on the effectiveness of the “Dream It! Playbook” to improve social-emotional learning skills of self-awareness (including optimistic thinking, growth mindset, mindfulness, hope and grit) among elementary school students.
We were honored to attend the American Psychological Associations 2018 annual conference to present the results of our study. This is a new analysis of our data that, essentially, says that young students perform better when they are taught the basics of socioemotional skills, like passion and goal setting, first before more academic subjects, such as reading, writing and arithmetic.
As part of our ongoing research, we’ve tested “Dream It!” in about a dozen schools and programs. We had so much success that the facilitators starting calling it “The Dream Club” because most people thought that “The Dream Workshop” didn’t sound like any fun.
The Dream Playbook was tested by the University of Cincinnati in a year-long study called “Promoting Optimistic Thinking in YMCA After-School Students” as part of community service and outreach program.