Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Arts education

Canadian Evidence regarding the Relationship between the Arts and the Quality of Life, Well-being, Health, Education, Society, and the Economy

This literature review, conducted in May 2014, synthesized the findings of 46 Canadian research articles regarding the “holistic case for the arts, i.e., outcomes of the arts related to the quality of life, well-being, health, society, education, and the economy”. The report concluded that “there are a myriad of potential benefits of the arts”. That being said, the report cautions that “studies of causal links (rather than statistical associations) are very challenging to conduct”.

This report from Music Canada, a non-profit trade organization that promotes the interests of its members and their artist partners, provides strategies for supporting the growth of Canada’s commercial music industry, which the report calls “a highly creative and dynamic field that has undergone massive changes with the shift to digital technologies and platforms”.

Also: Music Matters: How Music Education Helps Students Learn, Achieve, and Succeed

With 40 citations from a range of sources, this brief bulletin provides a useful summary of research findings regarding the benefits of arts education. Indicating that arts education is key “to ensuring students’ success in school, work, and life”, the research bulletin concludes that “every young person in America deserves a complete and competitive education that includes the arts”. With evidence from 23 music education research projects, a similar fact sheet indicates that “music education equips students with the foundational abilities to learn, to achieve in other core academic subjects, and to develop the capacities, skills and knowledge essential for lifelong success”.

This study examines “whether music training is associated with higher-level reading abilities such as reading comprehension” in 46 “normal-achieving” children between six and nine years of age. The study finds that “length of music training predicted reading comprehension performance even after controlling for age, socioeconomic status, auditory perception, full scale IQ, the number of hours that children spent reading per week, and word decoding skills”. Unlike previous research, the study did not find a correlation between music training and word decoding skills.

(Le développement des pratiques culturelles chez les enfants)

The most basic conclusion of this report from Quebec’s cultural observatory is that mothers who read tend to have children who read. The analysis is based on the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development (QLSCD), a yearly survey of a representative sample of parents of children born in Quebec in 1997-1998.

Based largely on 2006 labour force data, this report examines the earnings of university graduates in Canada. Overall, the report notes that “it pays to get a post-secondary education”, but returns to education vary by field of study. At the low end of the scale, university graduates from fine and applied arts programs earn 12% less than high school graduates. Humanities graduates earn only 23% more than high school graduates.

First edition – for consultation

This Australian report aims “to deliver a tool to enable governments, the [cultural] sector and the community to monitor the achievements of the sector, the role arts and culture play in economic and social agendas, and the vitality and cultural impact of Australian arts and cultural output”. Based on “extensive research on international developments in cultural measurement”, the study examines what indicators are available and relevant in an Australian context. Sixteen high-level cultural indicators, grouped under three main themes, are outlined in the report.

The focus of this internet-based clearinghouse is "on research examining how education in the arts – in both discrete arts classes and integrated arts lessons – affects students' cognitive, personal, social and civic development, and how the integration of the arts into the school curriculum affects student learning and educators' instructional practice and engagement in the teaching profession."

Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools

This American report examines the state of arts education, its benefits for students and classrooms, as well as potential improvements in arts education provision. The report argues that "building capacity to create and innovate in our students is central to guaranteeing the nation's competitiveness". However, the report found "enormous variety in the delivery of arts education, resulting in a complex patchwork with pockets of visionary activity flourishing in some locations and inequities in access to arts education increasing in others".

Evaluation of Impact on Student Outcomes

This evaluation document, as well as the accompanying literature review, examines the impacts of artist-in-residence and exposure-to-arts programs in schools and arts venues in Victoria, Australia. The researchers conclude that "the school/arts partnership programs investigated had a positive impact on the five student outcomes", which include student engagement, student voice, social learning, creative skills, and arts-related knowledge and skills