Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Arts education

Evidence from the Taking Part survey on how childhood involvement in the arts affects arts engagement in adulthood

This report examines the relationship between childhood arts experiences and adult arts participation, based on a survey of 13,500 English adults who were asked to recall their childhood arts experiences. Overall, the report found that "being exposed to arts events and encouraged to participate in arts activities when growing up indeed makes a positive contribution to the chances of people developing a life-long interest in and active relationship with the arts".

Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies

Based on four longitudinal datasets, this American report examines the association between in-depth arts engagement and academic or civic outcomes for at-risk youth. The report notes that high-arts students fare at least as well as low-arts students on almost all indicators of academic achievement and civic engagement, and significantly better than low-arts students on a number of indicators.

Based on a survey of 1,027 elementary and secondary schools (21% of all schools in Ontario), this brief report highlights the situation of the arts in Ontario schools. The report argues that "Ontario has an extensive arts curriculum, but no specific funding for arts programs or specialists".

A first look at data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth

Based on 10,309 parents responding to Statistics Canada's National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, this report provides information about the participation of young children in arts and reading activities outside of school in 2008. The report finds that:

  • 18% of children between three and seven years old "take weekly lessons or instruction in music, art or other non sport activities. On the other hand, 80% 'almost never' take lessons or instruction in music, art or other non sport activities. The remaining 2% take lessons or instruction in music, art or other non sport activities 'about once a month'."
  • 35% of children between three and seven years old "take weekly lessons or instruction in dance, gymnastics or martial arts (or 'other organized physical activities'). In contrast, about two-thirds (64%) 'almost never' take lessons or instruction in dance, gymnastics or martial arts. Only 1% of children of all age groups take lessons or instruction in dance, gymnastics or martial arts 'about once a month'."
  • "A majority of children read on their own on a daily basis: 73% of three year olds do so (including those who 'look at books'); 68% of four and five year olds do so; and 70% of six year olds read daily. The percentage is lower for seven year old children, 52% of whom read for pleasure daily. Note: The slightly different phrasing of the question for seven year olds ('read for pleasure') may have an effect on these results."

Based on a survey of senior arts education staff members and artistic directors of 50 Toronto-area performing arts companies, this report provides information about "the range, reach and impact of the arts education programs of dance, music, opera and theatre organizations in the Toronto area".

Based on the 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts

This report makes a strong statistical connection between childhood arts experiences and adult arts participation. In fact, the report indicates that "arts education has a more powerful effect on arts attendance than any other measurable factor".

Strategic National Arts Alumni Project

The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project provides an important exploration of the situation of graduates of arts-related programs. Based on a survey of "13,581 alumni of 154 arts high schools, art colleges and conservatories, and arts schools and departments within universities", this report argues that "the majority of arts graduates find satisfying work". More specifically, 92% of graduates who wish to work are indeed working, and two-thirds of respondents indicated that "their first job was a close match for the kind of work they wanted".

A Report on the Teaching Artist Research Project

Based on a survey of 3,550 artists and program managers as well as 211 in-depth interviews, this report highlights the role of artists in teaching environments, whether schools or community settings. Teaching artists are artists "for whom teaching is a part of professional practice". Teaching artists "teach primarily because they enjoy the work and because it is a way to earn money in their artistic field…. Most believe that teaching makes them better artists."

A National Conversation

This report summarizes the results of discussions with 100 organizations and 40 youth regarding youth engagement in artistic, cultural and heritage organizations in Canadian communities.

This report provides a detailed examination of the performance of Canadian 15-year olds in science, reading and mathematics in 2009. As noted in Statistics Canada's Daily article highlighting the report's findings, "Canadian 15-year-old students continue to perform well internationally and have strong skill sets in reading, mathematics and sciences."