Educational impacts of arts and culture

This section comprises a relatively large number of studies that describe the educational impact of engaging in arts and culture. Most of the research focuses on children and young people. This includes activity within formal educational settings as well as out-of-school and informal learning experiences.

For more information about this area of research we would advise contacting the Cultural Learning Alliance or visiting ArtsEdSearch (a resource specifically dedicated to research in this area).

The summaries in this category are:

Youth theatre provides a space for young people to gain skills they need to succeed

This research was conducted by Jenny Hughes and Karen Wilson at the University of Manchester

Summary

This paper presents the findings of a study of youth theatre.  The paper explores some key questions around the impact of taking part in youth theatre on young people’s personal and social development. Overall ...

By | 11 December 2014 |

Arts engagement has a range of benefits for young people

This research was conducted by Andrew J. Martin and five other people at the University of Sydney and the Australia Council for the Arts

Summary

This paper is about the role of arts engagement on the academic and non-academic outcomes of children and young people. It reports a large and multi-faceted ...

By | 15 May 2014 |

Using talk to affect learning in museums

This research was conducted by Jennifer DeWitt and Jill Hohenstein at King's College London, UK

Summary

This paper examined the quality of children’s talk to better understand the ways in which children learn in a museum setting. The research was based upon four separate school visits to the Science ...

By | 26 April 2014 |

Using an after-school arts programme to help ‘at-risk’ children

This research was conducted by Michael J. Mason and Susan Chuang at the University of Rochester, USA [Now at Virginia Commonwealth University, USA]

Summary

This paper reports the findings from an intervention that sought to prevent anti-social and delinquent behavior amongst children from low-income families in Rochester, New York. They found ...

By | 16 April 2014 |

Using contemporary art to explore children’s identity

This research was conducted by Fiona Collins and Susan Ogier at the University of Roehampton, UK

Summary

This paper describes what happened when primary school pupils in London participated in a project called Images and Identity, using digital art to interrogate the issue of identity in the context of the European ...

By | 16 April 2014 |

Music lessons enhance IQ while drama increases social skills

This research was conducted by Glenn Schellenberg at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, Canada

Summary

The researchers randomly assigned 144 six year old Canadian children to one of four groups: one received music tuition for the keyboard, another got voice coaching using the Kodaly method, and (by way of contrast ...

By | 16 April 2014 |

Arts education can help with students' maths ability

This research was conducted by Katharine Smithrim and Rena Upitis

Summary

This paper sets out the results of a major research project examining the impact of the Learning Through the Arts (LTTA) programme in Canada. The LTTA is a model of arts education where professional artists develop a multi-year curriculum of ...

By | 10 April 2014 |

After-school arts programmes can increase the educational attainment of 'at-risk' students

This research was conducted by Trinetia Respress and Ghazwan Lutfi at Florida A&M University, USA [Now at Tennessee State University, USA]

Summary

This paper reports the results of an after-school arts programme in Florida. It attempted to develop the attainment of 'at-risk' African American students. The authors claim that the usual ...

By | 10 April 2014 |

The arts help children with special educational needs

This research was conducted by Christine Y. Mason, Kathlyn M. Steedly and Mary S. Thormann at Mason & Associates, VSA Arts and Educational Links International, USA

Summary

This paper looks at the role of arts education in the life of children with special educational needs. The researchers conducted 34 focus groups ...

By | 10 April 2014 |

Dance can help improve young children’s social skills

This research was conducted by Yovanka B. Lobo and Adam Winsler at George Mason University, USA

Summary

The paper reports the results of an experiment in the US where young children from low-income families participated in a creative dance programme. When compared with a control group, the children in the dance ...

By | 10 April 2014 |