My own doctoral research and dissertation involved assessment in the arts.
There are few published findings that have hard data to indicate that the
arts make a difference in general learning. The reason? Well there are
First, lots of other things happen in schools that can change what a child
learns and how. Isolating the arts to say that the arts made the difference
in a child's test scores is next to impossible. And, let's face it, what we
do in the classroom is more typically translated to qualitative findings
instead of numbers. Numbers are what administrators understand and most
arts educators don't do numbers. We have a basic problem of communication
between arts educators and administrators.
The Annenberg Challenge had a component titled "Transforming Education
through the Arts" in which 35 schools across the country were immersed in
quality arts-based programs and then student cognitive growth was measured.
You might wish to look into that program. The National Arts Education
Consortium http://www.arts.ohio-state.edu/NAEC/ recently published their
findings. You might contact them for their executive summary. They also
produced a CD and Power Point slide show for use in school board meetings,
with PTAs, etc.
----- Original Message -----
From: "jmw" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "ArtsEdNet Talk" <email@example.com>
Sent: Saturday, November 01, 2003 9:44 AM
Subject: cognitive benefits of visual arts ed.
Can > anyone refer me to websites with statistics which will convince
> non-humanities administrators of the value of visual arts classes? I
> shall be most grateful. I can talk until I'm blue in the face, but
> published statistics might get their attention. Thanks in advance, J.