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Lesson Plans

Specific info on importance of the arts.....

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Bunki Kramer (
Mon, 3 Nov 1997 19:33:31 -0700

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A few of you have asked for SPECIFIC info on the importance of art
education (perhaps for research). I received awhile back the October
California CTA magazine....CALIFORNIA EDUCATOR...which has 10 FULL (!)
pages devoted to the arts. I'm going to quote some of it for you here so if
you're not interested...delete now!

"Nationally, entertainment is an industry that provides about 1.3 million
jobs per year, according to the 1994 report ARTS IN THE LOCAL ECONOMY
published by the National Assembly of Local Arts agencies. The report says,
"The economic dimensions of the nonprofit arts sector are extensive at $36
billion. It jumps to $314 billion when the commercial arts sector is
added." Rexford Brown of the Education Commission of the States estimates
that out of a classroom of 30 children, 10 will perhaps be employed in an
arts-related occupation someday. Even if we discount the other benefits of
including arts in the curriculum, how can we ignore a segment of the
curriculum that will make our students eligible to fill these jobs?"

Page 14 of C.E......
"Recent studies hae shown that art can help students do better on college
entrance exams. According to the 1995 College Board Profile of SAT and
Achievement Test Takers, students who have had a least four art courses
score 59 points higher in verbal and 44 points higher in the math college
entrance exams than those who have had no art courses."

Page 14 of C..E......
"Psychologist Frances Rauscher of the University of Wisconsin and physicist
Gordon Shaw of the University of California at Irvine found that
preschoolers who were given keyboard lessons and did group singing scored
higher on tests measuring spatial reasoning, a skill used later in math,
science and engineering. They also found that the music lessons resulted in
higher spatial reasoning scores than equivalent instruction in computer

"Elementary school children involved in the Spectra+ arts program in Ohio
out-scored a control group in reading skills (both vocabulary and
comprehension) and in math comprehension."

"In the New York City LEARNING TO READ THROUGH THE ARTS program, students
improved an average of one to two months in reading skills for every month
they participated."

"In Los Angeles, high school students at every academic level who enrolled
in the Humanitas Program, which incorporates the arts into a broad
humanities curriculum, wrote higher-quality essays, showed more conceptual
understanding and more interdisciplinary references than the non-Humanitas
group. Both low-achieving and high-achieving students showed benefits from

Hope some of this helps those of you doing research in this area.

Bunki Kramer
Los Cerros Middle School
Danville, California 94526

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