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RE: Data on Art Education & Test scores

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From: Kimberly Herbert (kimberly_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Oct 12 2000 - 20:22:54 PDT


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I think you have made an excellent point. We need to emphasize the many
advantages that art education has in a student's life, including outside of
school. I do think that opportunities to create cross-curricular connections
should be taken advantage of by all teachers. For example we have two artist
from Sweden, who are installing an exhibit of ceramic sculptures on the Fine
Arts rooftop garden tomorrow and this weekend (Opens Tuesday 17th from
5:30 - 8:00 if your in West Texas) and a collection of New Mexico artists
opens the next week in Galleries 2 & 3 (Opens Thursday 26th from 5:30 - 8:00
if your in West Texas). I'm writing social studies lesson plans and
researching web sites for the Teacher's packet. In our situation the
classroom teacher not the art teacher brings the kids from elementary. The
elementary art teachers are covering 5 schools a week and each grade for a
few weeks a year, so field trips are pretty much impossible.

Kimberly Herbert ( kimberly@wcc.net <mailto:kimberly@wcc.net> )
CAM Administrator
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts/Children's Art Museum

-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis Freeman [mailto:freemad@wyoming.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 12, 2000 7:08 AM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Re: Data on Art Education & Test scores

on 10/13/00 12:15 AM, Freeland, Susan at FREELAS@GardnerK12.org wrote:

> Does anyone out there have information regarding how the arts have
improved
> test scores? We all know that art makes better problem
> solvers but I'm presently looking for data and studies to back it up.

There are a wide variety of studies out there that purport to address this
issue. The President's Comm. on the Arts and Humanities put out a great
little brochure entitled "Eloquent Evidence: Arts at the Core of Learning".
which cites a number of studies on the effect of arts ed on education
generally, on test scores and other benefits of art ed. The brochure is
available from: National Assembly of State Arts Councils (NASSA), 202
347-6352, or on the web at www.nassa.arts.org

Having said this, I think there is a significant question as to whether arts
educators should rely on test scores or effects in other curricular areas to
justify our programs. Do football coaches claim to raise ACT or math
scores? Is a student's eventual NRT score really a consideration in
deciding whether or not to engage in arts activities? More importantly, if
we hitch ourselves to the test scores bandwagon, and it turns out that such
effects do not exist or are statistically insignificant, then where does
that leave us in terms of justifying the arts? We should teach arts for
their own sake, not because of the supposed effect on NRT results

In this regard, a recently published report by Lois Hetland and Ellen Winner
of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, entitled " The Arts and
Academic Achievement: What the Evidence Shows", is a meta-analysis of
studies since 1950 which attempt to examine scientifically claims that arts
ed actually causes academic achievement. What they found is that there are
some effects, but that the claims in this area way exceed the evidence.
While the study did document effects in areas like verbal ability or spatial
reasoning, most of those effects were characterized as equivocal or
statistically insignificant. Every arts educator needs to read this report.

What the arts can do has little to do with test score and everything to do
with creativity, communication, intellectual depth and quality of life.
That is what we should focus on and emphasize, not our ability to aid with
purely academic subjects other than our own. Just my opinion, but there it
is. - Dennis in Wyo

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<p class=3DMsoNormal><span class=3DEmailStyle15><font size=3D3 =
color=3Dnavy face=3DArial><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Arial'>I think you have made an =
excellent
point. We need to emphasize the many advantages that art education has =
in a
student&#8217;s life, including outside of school. I do think that =
opportunities to
create cross-curricular connections should be taken advantage of by all
teachers. For example we have two artist from Sweden, who are installing =
an
exhibit of ceramic sculptures on the Fine Arts rooftop garden tomorrow =
and this
weekend (Opens Tuesday 17<sup>th</sup> from 5:30 &#8211; 8:00 if your in =
West Texas)
and a collection of New Mexico artists opens the next week in Galleries =
2 &amp;
3 (Opens Thursday 26<sup>th</sup> from 5:30 &#8211; 8:00 if your in West =
Texas). I&#8217;m
writing social studies lesson plans and researching web sites for the =
Teacher&#8217;s
packet. In our situation the classroom teacher not the art teacher =
brings the
kids from elementary. The elementary art teachers are covering 5 schools =
a week
and each grade for a few weeks a year, so field trips are pretty much
impossible.<o:p></o:p></span></font></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><span class=3DEmailStyle15><font size=3D3 =
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yes">&nbsp;</span>AUTOTEXTLIST=20
s &quot;E-mail Signature&quot; <span =
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f]--><font
color=3Dnavy><span style=3D'color:navy'>Kimberly Herbert (<a
href=3D"mailto:kimberly@wcc.net">kimberly@wcc.net</a>)</span></font><font=

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<p class=3DMsoAutoSig><font size=3D3 color=3Dnavy face=3D"Times New =
Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;color:navy'>CAM =
Administrator</span></font><font
color=3Dnavy><span =
style=3D'color:navy;mso-color-alt:windowtext'><o:p></o:p></span></font></=
p>

<p class=3DMsoAutoSig><font size=3D3 color=3Dnavy face=3D"Times New =
Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;color:navy'>San Angelo Museum of Fine =
Arts/Children's
Art Museum</span></font><font color=3Dnavy><span =
style=3D'color:navy;mso-color-alt:
windowtext'><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

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<p class=3DMsoNormal style=3D'margin-left:.5in'><font size=3D2 =
color=3Dblack
face=3DTahoma><span =
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Tahoma;color:black'>-----Original
Message-----<br>
<b><span style=3D'font-weight:bold'>From:</span></b> Dennis Freeman
[mailto:freemad@wyoming.com]<br>
<b><span style=3D'font-weight:bold'>Sent:</span></b> Thursday, October =
12, 2000
7:08 AM<br>
<b><span style=3D'font-weight:bold'>To:</span></b> ArtsEdNet Talk<br>
<b><span style=3D'font-weight:bold'>Subject:</span></b> Re: Data on Art =
Education
&amp; Test scores</span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal style=3D'margin-left:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Times New Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:
12.0pt;margin-left:.5in'><font size=3D3 color=3Dblack face=3D"Times New =
Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;color:black'>on 10/13/00 12:15 AM, Freeland, =
Susan at
FREELAS@GardnerK12.org wrote:<br>
<br>
<i><span style=3D'font-style:italic'>&gt; Does anyone out there have =
information
regarding how the arts have improved<br>
&gt; test scores? We all know that art makes better problem<br>
&gt; solvers but I'm presently looking for data and studies to back it =
up.<br>
<br>
</span></i>There are a wide variety of studies out there that purport to
address this issue. &nbsp;The President's Comm. on the Arts and =
Humanities put
out a great little brochure entitled &quot;Eloquent Evidence: Arts at =
the Core
of Learning&quot;. which cites a number of studies on the effect of arts =
ed on
education generally, on test scores and other benefits of art ed. =
&nbsp;The
brochure is available from: National Assembly of State Arts Councils =
(NASSA),
202 347-6352, or on the web at www.nassa.arts.org <br>
<br>
Having said this, I think there is a significant question as to whether =
arts
educators should rely on test scores or effects in other curricular =
areas to
justify our programs. &nbsp;Do football coaches claim to raise ACT or =
math
scores? &nbsp;Is a student's eventual NRT score really a consideration =
in
deciding whether or not to engage in arts activities? &nbsp;More =
importantly,
if we hitch ourselves to the test scores bandwagon, and it turns out =
that such
effects do <u>not</u> exist or are statistically insignificant, then =
where does
that leave us in terms of justifying the arts? &nbsp;We should teach =
arts for
their own sake, not because of the supposed effect on NRT results<br>
<br>
In this regard, a recently published report by Lois Hetland and Ellen =
Winner of
the Harvard Graduate School of Education, entitled &quot; The Arts and =
Academic
Achievement: What the Evidence Shows&quot;, is a meta-analysis of =
studies since
1950 which attempt to examine scientifically claims that arts ed =
actually
causes academic achievement. &nbsp;What they found is that there are =
some
effects, but that the claims in this area way exceed the evidence. =
&nbsp;While
the study did document effects in areas like verbal ability or spatial
reasoning, most of those effects were characterized as equivocal or
statistically insignificant. &nbsp;Every arts educator needs to read =
this
report. <br>
<br>
What the arts <u>can</u> do has little to do with test score and =
everything to
do with creativity, communication, intellectual depth and quality of =
life.
&nbsp;<u>That</u> is what we should focus on and emphasize, not our =
ability to
aid with purely academic subjects other than our own. &nbsp;Just my =
opinion,
but there it is. - Dennis in Wyo<br =
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