highlights from key national research on arts education

We hope that the findings from various studies recorded below are a quick introduction to some of the high quality work being done regarding the effects of the arts in the education of children. Increasingly, "controlled" studies reveal a powerful, positive relationship between study in the arts and other academic subjects, attitudes, and behaviors.

Given the current state of research in the social sciences like education, few "causal" connections are possible at this point but gains are being made as new techniques for measuring learning are developed.  Much of what the arts teach are not measured in typical tests and research in arts education has further to go to develop an ever more detailed understanding of how the arts work to enhance children's learning. Different art forms have been researched to different degrees. For instance, the visual arts are the most commonly offered in our schools but are the least researched.

The arts are disciplines of study in themselves with their own histories and practices yet they are also increasingly recognized for the ways they promote learning for various children and in various ways. The findings reveal some of the power of the arts to affect other academic subjects, attitudes, and behaviors, among preschool, general K–12, and at-risk populations of students.

Findings are presented by art form to help you navigate the many insights into the power of arts in education.