Volume: 12 Issue: 5
In this issue: A focus on recent reports on arts education, including American summaries of the benefits of arts and music education, Canadian research into the relationship between music training and reading skills, a Quebec survey of the cultural activities of children and their parents, and a Canadian report on the labour market value of higher education.
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.