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The Results Are In
Research concludes on the Jockey Club Expressive Arts Programme for Children
Having received generous funding from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust in 2017, we embarked upon a new journey: the Jockey Club Expressive Arts Programme for Children. This three-year programme would serve both children and educators through expressive arts practices – the efficacy of which would be closely studied by The University of Hong Kong. As the programme has drawn to a close, we are excited to share the compelling results of the study.
The MIB expressive arts workshops took place on a weekly basis over 27 weeks, across 16 districts, and were delivered by SAF. Designed for children aged 6-12, the activities provided in the MIB workshops aimed to teach participants self-awareness and confidence, help them build respect for themselves and others, develop stronger focus and engage with the wider community.
Results At A Glance
The programme served two key beneficiary groups: disadvantaged children, many of whom have special educational needs (SE N), and their educators. Highlights of the programmes included nature and community outings, art fun days, group sessions and artist collaborations. To assess the impact of the programme on the participating children, HKU measured the following key areas: scholastic competence; social competence and peer problems; physical appearance; emotional symptoms; behavioural conduct and hyperactivity; global self-worth and life satisfaction.
Children, especially those with SEN, reported a higher social competency score after participation in the programme. Parents observed substantial reductions in emotional symptoms, hyperactivity/inattention problems, peer problems, and overall difficulties of their children. Children were observed to be more expressive and interactive, with improved problem-solving abilities and autonomy. Moreover, educators who completed the Train-the-Trainer programme reported significant increases in general self-efficacy, teacher self-efficacy, and perceived relationship with students. We can also see that expressive arts practices clearly benefit the vital relationships between children and their caregivers and teachers.
Watch The Virtual Presentation
For a more in-depth view of the findings, watch the recording of our virtual presentation, featuring testimonials from teachers and students, an analysis of the results, and a panel discussion let by Dr Grace Kwan, Registered Expressive Arts Therapist.
Howard Bilton, Chairman and Founder of The Sovereign Art Foundation, said:
“This study concludes that engagement in expressive arts does indeed make a huge difference to the lives of these children and that our programme can and does make it better. I think we have now proven the value of this work in Hong Kong – work that continues and becomes ever more important.”
While studies such as this are compelling, they are still relatively new to Hong Kong: where the benefits of expressive arts are often undervalued in the formal education system.
As Prof. Rainbow Ho of HKU states:
“A reformation, or a change in emphasis, is required to ensure students receive a holistic education.”
We hope that studies such as this can help to further the conversation of the importance of expressive arts and provide a foundation for research in the future.
If you are interested in helping us to fund future programmes, let us know here.