I was faced with the same dilemma last spring and only had 1 month to find research. I would look at buying and reading The Arts and the Creation of Mind
by Elliot Eisner. Another book is called Literacy and the Arts for the integrated Classroom by Nancy Lee Cecil and Phylilis Lauritzen. I would suggest looking into promoting staff development on how students learn. We need to in-service our staff on strategies that the teachers can use to create better learning in their content areas. Not cut the arts, but integrate. I am doing research on Reading in the Content Areas and how we can affect student reading scores and learning just by applying strategies that reading teachers use into our own subject. Some good journals to ask your English teachers for or your school professional library are:Phi Delta Kappan, look at June 2002 issue,Middle School Journal and I found tons of stuff in the Educational Leadership Journal, put out by ASCD Volume 60, No. 3, Nov. 2002 Titled Reading and Writing in the Content Areas. Last, but not the least, I'm sure Judy has tons of sites listed to visit on the Incredible Art Department Site. Hope some of this helps.
From: jmw [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, November 01, 2003 9:45 AM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: cognitive benefits of visual arts ed.
Help. It seems like just last year I was whining about wanting smaller
classes, and now this year I'm seeing exactly that. (You know, be
careful what you wish for, etc.) State university scholarship
humanities requirements are weakening, "honors courses" requirements for
graduation are rising, and in our lower grades the powers that be are
planning to replace art enrichment classes with studies skills. 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.