Impact of arts education on the cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes of school-aged children A review of evidence

1.     SUMMARY

This literature review was commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to assess the evidence of impact of arts education on cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes of children from pre-school to compulsory school age (ages 3 to 16). In this review, we considered arts education to include a broad range of subjects including the traditional fine arts (e.g. visual arts, music, dance, performing arts, theatre and dance) as well as modern dance and movement, hip hop, poetry and creative writing.

The EEF was looking to identify arts activities that have evidence of promise, as well as an overview of those where the results are inconclusive or which have not been evaluated. The summary results in this section pull together all the studies to arrive at an overall judgment of the strength of evidence. No high quality studies were found. It is therefore difficult to state conclusively what the evidence of impact of arts activities in education might be. However, given that a large number of weak or medium quality studies do suggest positive effects more work in this area, taking into account the most promising avenues, would be justified.

  • A total of 199 relevant studies were identified from a search of eleven educational, psychological and social sciences databases. The vast majority of studies were about music education and a combination of arts forms. Most of these studies were conducted with primary school aged children and very few for pre-school children.
  • The review found no convincing evidence of a causal relationship between arts education and young people’s academic and other wider outcomes.
  • There were a few interventions that showed evidence of promise. Pilot studies, or efficacy trials, could be conducted to improve the evidence base for these interventions. These largely relate to primary school age group.
  • Music (instrumental, music education and music integration) shows promise across all age groups.
  • The evidence for integrating multi-arts for primary school children is weak largely because the positive studies found were small scale (under 100) or lacked randomisation. They also tended to compare arts-focused schools or arts-trained teachers with non-arts specialist schools and teachers (who may differ in more than their subject expertise).  There is potential here for more robust studies.
  • Kindermusik, Orff and Kodaly methods of learning music have been shown to be effective on the cognitive development of young children.
  • There is little evidence that visual art (painting, drawing, sculpture) had any positive effect on academic outcomes.
  • More research is needed for the pre-school as there are few studies for this age group.
  • Few empirical studies were found about the use of poetry for school-aged children, especially for pre-school and primary school children. Although rhymes and rhythms are routinely taught in pre-school, its impact on children’s literacy has not been evaluated.   The lacuna means that this could be an area worth exploring.
  • Most studies about poetry were about the beneficial effects of poetry in general or for older pupils and undergraduates or about the methods of teaching poetry, or about the author’s or pupils’ experience with poetry. The majority of empirical work about poetry in schools was conducted pre 1980 and was largely about the teaching and assessment of poetry

There is the conjecture that the shift in emphasis to maths, science and literacy after 1960s has led to the abandonment of teaching poetry in US schools. Since the No Child Left Behind Act, the teaching of poetry has been given less attention as the focus was on core subjects such as reading, writing, maths and science.

  • Few studies have been conducted on creative writing as an activity to support general literacy at school. Most research in this area was either on creative writing as an outcome or for older students in higher education. It would be interesting to see if creative writing has any impact in developing literacy for primary and secondary school pupils.
  • Successful arts activities often involve professional artists. For successful implementation, professional training of teachers is needed on how to effectively integrate the arts activities be it drama, visual arts or music in the classroom.
  • There is some suggestion that the mechanisms or factors that contribute to the learning processes in most arts education are related to elements of enjoyment, engagement and extension (e.g. DeMoss and Morris 2012). Otten et al. (2004) reported that the effect of dramatic art on acquisition of history knowledge was mediated by enjoyment., which in turn, predicted future performance on standardised tests.

Quality assessment of studies in the review

  • Few studies gave detailed descriptions of the actual intervention in their reports. This makes it hard to assess how well specified they were. In most cases the arts activities were integrated in the curriculum as part of a pedagogical strategy, and details were only given about how teachers were either trained by professional artists or how professionals worked with classroom teachers to develop an arts-infused curriculum. In others comparisons were made with schools or classes where there was a focus on arts activities without specifying. In some cases, as in music learning, the methods of teaching instrumental music was mentioned (e.g. the Kodaly, Kindermusik and Off) but no details of these programmes were given.
  • Almost all the studies in this review were rated as providing ‘weak’ evidence because of serious design flaws. A large number of studies in the review were PhD theses which tended to be small-scale, using convenience samples drawn from one setting. This limits generalisation of the findings to wider contexts. Large-scale studies analysing state exam results in the US, on the other hand, tended to be cross-sectional or correlational in design, which could not establish causality. These also tended to compare schools with strong arts -focused with schools where arts are not emphasised, or with pupils participating in the arts with those who did not. In the US schools with rich arts activities tended to be high performing schools, so comparing arts-focused with non-arts focused schools meant that the comparison is with the type of schools rather than the arts activities. Art-rich schools are also more likely to be progressive schools with innovative teachers and programmes. In the US academically strong students are encouraged to study the arts, while in the UK, this is likely to be the reverse. Therefore, comparing the performance of students in arts and non-arts schools, or comparing arts with non-arts students would mean comparing children who are already different. Therefore, similar results may not be seen in UK schools. Longitudinal correlational studies in the US invariably show a strong association between arts participation and academic performance. UK studies, however, did not find similar results.  Harland et al. (2000), for example, analysed 27,000 Year 11 pupils in 52 schools in UK, and found no evidence that participation in the arts was related to performance in English and maths in national exam (GCSE) at 16.
  • Ten of the research reports were meta-analyses or reviews of studies, which together included 442 studies. Few of these meta-analyses or reviews made an attempt to distinguish the strength of evidence of experimental studies and those of correlational design. They tended to give equal weightings to all studies even those with no control condition, or had no pre- post-comparisons and did not take account of size and attrition. Meta-analyses also tended to cover a range of studies with different outcomes, involving a combination of arts activities (or arts education in general), using different measures and involving children of different ages. It was therefore difficult to pinpoint the effectiveness of individual arts activities from these meta-analyses. Evidence from such reviews are considered under multiple arts or combination of arts activities.
  • Experimental or quasi-experimental studies were invariably weak. Common design flaws included lack of comparison group, no baseline equivalence established, comparing arts with non-arts schools, or comparing students’ post-test scores only with non-random samples.
  • Few studies have included in their design a placebo to differentiate the real effect of the intervention from the Hawthorne effect. Integrating arts in the curriculum invariably introduces a certain amount of fun in the lessons because arts such as music, theatre drama, dance and visual arts are often associated with leisure activities. So it is not surprising that students report greater enjoyment of arts-infused subjects.  In studies where enjoyment, engagement and attitudes were the outcome measures, these were invariably based on pupils’ own ratings of their enjoyment or parents’ reported observations of changes in behaviour. Very few studies looked at the transfer of enjoyment or changes in behaviour to learning.
  • Lack of replication of similar studies was another reason why it was difficult to make any conclusive statements about some of the approaches
  • In several studies, the researchers were teachers delivering the intervention and collecting the data. There was therefore conflict of interest and teacher expectancy.
  • Another key weakness in these studies was the use of unvalidated assessment instruments, most of which were based on teacher or pupil self-reports and their anecdotal accounts. This was especially so with assessments of non-cognitive outcomes like attitude, self-concept and motivation. A number of studies also used tests that were inherent to the intervention. There were also instances where positive effects were reported even though the data suggested otherwise.
  • Biased reporting is also not uncommon.


ARTS ACTIVITIES WITH EVIDENCE OF PROMISE

These are arts activities where studies have shown consistently positive effects on students’ learning and wider outcomes. However, none of these are ready for an effectiveness trial because of serious weaknesses in a number of these evaluations.

For pre-school pupils:

Learning to play an instrument has shown some potential impact on a range of outcomes: creativity, spatial-temporal ability, IQ scores, and reading and language.

For primary school pupils:

Integration of music in the classroom and playing an instrument have favourable effects on young children’s learning outcomes, in particular cognitive abilities, and to some extent self-esteem and social behaviour. Again, because of design flaws in a number of the studies we are cautious about making recommendations for a full trial. Of the 30 studies, 20 suggested positive effects. Four of these were of medium weak quality. Individually the evidence from these studies may be weak, but taken together the positive effects suggest there is potential in this area that is worth pursuing.

For secondary school-aged pupils:

There is not enough evidence to suggest that any of the arts activities have beneficial effects.

For pupils across age groups:

Music training shows some potential beneficial effects. No negative studies were found. However, all the studies were rated weak for a range of reasons. For example, a large-scale analysis of standardized test scores in English showed that pupils who participated in school music programme performed better than non-music pupils (Johnson and Memmott 2006), but the effect was small and the influence of confounding variables could not be ruled out. Another study using brain scans of children of different ages with varying years of musical experience showed positive correlation between music training and visuo-spatial and motor co-ordination (Hudziak et al. 2014). The correlational design of the study could not rule out the influence of maturation.

Experimental studies were also weak as they were either small or did not randomly allocate participants to conditions (e.g. Strait et al, 2013). A meta-analysis of experimental studies provided tentative evidence of impact of music training on spatial-temporal reasoning, but only 5 of the 19 studies randomized participants to intervention conditions.

Although the individual studies may be weak, the evidence taken together is suggestive of potential.

ARTS ACTIVITIES WITH INCONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE OF IMPACT BUT COULD BENEFIT FROM A FEASIBILITY TRIAL

For pre-school pupils:

Integrating music showed inconclusive evidence, mainly because of weaknesses in the studies. For example one involved only 14 children (McDonel 2013) and others did not randomize participants, so it was not possible to attribute any effects on the intervention alone (e.g. Runfalo et al. 2012; Wellman 2007; Fisher 2011).

Integrating multi-arts. The evidence of impact for integrating multi-arts in the curriculum is also inconclusive because of the lack of replication of studies to confirm the effects. The intervention reported was the Kaleidoscope programme (Bowen et al. 2010) which showed large effect sizes on receptive vocabulary (ES = 1.7) and early learning (ES = 1.5). Only one paper was found and both the studies reported in the paper were flawed: one had only 63 participants but used a placebo to control for Hawthorne effect, and the other did not have a comparator.

Creative drama showed impact only for reading, but all the studies suffered from the same design flaws (small scale, no comparator and no pre- post-test comparisons).

For primary school pupils:

The evidence for visual arts is inconclusive. Three studies reported positive effects on cognitive outcomes and six studies showed mixed results. However, the positive studies had either very small sample, or had unclear sample with no random selection to participation. Two of the studies did not have a control group, so it was not possible to say if the children would have made the same progress without the intervention. In one study the intervention children also received additional enrichment activities, so it was difficult to attribute the effect on visual arts integration alone.

It is also not clear whether infusing a combination of arts into the school curriculum has any beneficial effect for primary school children. Four studies suggested positive effects, but eight studies showed mixed results for some subjects, some grades and certain children (e.g. SEN and low SES).

For secondary school pupils:

Music training and participation in music at school (band, choir, orchestra) may be beneficial for pupils’ academic and affective outcomes, but the evidence is weak. Eighteen of the 20 studies were about music education. Fourteen of these suggested positive effects. Almost all were correlational in design, examining the impact of participation in music education in school (e.g. learning to play an instrument or music lessons). The results were also mixed. Two studies showed no differences between pupils who did music at school and those who did not. One was a large study of 15,630 pupils which controlled for background variables. A medium study suggested positive effects for younger children, but not for older ones.

Integrating creative drama in the classroom may have beneficial effects on academic outcomes but not on behaviour and social outcomes. Six of the eight studies suggested positive effects; five reported effects on academic outcomes. However, all suffered from serious flaws in design, so the evidence of impact is unclear.

The evidence for multi-arts activities in school is also inconclusive because of weaknesses in the studies (such as lack of randomization, no pre- post-test comparisons) or use of inadequate assessment instruments. One large-scale UK study found no evidence that participation in arts activities in secondary school can improve exam performance after controlling for prior attainment and social background.

For pupils across age groups:

There is mixed evidence about the effects of integrating music and drama in the curriculum. A majority of the positive studies were meta-analyses undertaken by the same authors and most were correlational studies comparing arts schools with non-arts schools. Studies with causal design tended to be small-scale with no randomization or no control groups. Results from experimental studies were mixed. Only two of the 18 studies reported positive effects.

More robust evaluations using large-scale randomization of participants to treatment conditions is needed to test the hypothesis of the beneficial effects of combined arts activities in secondary schools.

ARTS ACTIVITIES WITH NO EVIDENCE OF BENEFICIAL EFFECTS

These include arts activities where few studies have been conducted, and those where they have been evaluated but have shown no beneficial effects

For pre-school pupils:

There is not enough evidence to suggest that visual arts, dance and listening to music have beneficial effects on pre-school pupils. Very few studies were found (2 for dance and 3 for visual arts) and all were rated weak. They either did not evaluate outcomes or if they did, evaluation was based on teacher/parents’ ratings.

If improving young children’s cognitive skills is the aim, getting them to learn to play an instrument is more likely to succeed than getting them just to listen to music (Mozart effect). The evidence of listening to music is yet unknown. Only two studies were found; one apparently improved psychomotor skills and the second study showed no effects on memory. The two evaluations were also flawed.

There is also no evidence that using creative drama to develop pre-school children’s theory of mind (understanding another person’s intentions and behaviour) has been successful.

For primary school pupils:

There is no evidence that using visual arts as an extra-curricular activity can improve primary school pupils’ cognitive and non-cognitive skills.

Using school-based arts as a behaviour intention has no evidence of success.

Training in aesthetic appreciation also has not shown to be effective in improving primary school pupils’ metacognition and literary skills.

It is also not useful to use drama to develop the non-cognitive skills of primary school pupils. There is not enough evidence that it works.

Creative dance, poetry and creative writing have not been shown to be of any beneficial effects.  Two of the studies on dance reported negative effects. The other studies were weak; one did not evaluate outcomes and one showed mixed results. The two positive studies were small (under 30), and had no comparison groups. Four of the five studies on poetry did not evaluate outcomes, and there was only one study on creative writing. There is therefore not enough evidence to justify trialling these arts activities.

For secondary school pupils:

There is not enough evidence that visual arts, dance, background music, creative writing and poetry work for secondary school pupils. All the studies about visual arts provided conflicting results. None of the studies on creative writing showed positive results. Only two of the ten studies on poetry reported positive effects. Two of the positive studies on creative dance were flawed. The other studies showed no benefits or mixed results. 

Only one study tested the effects of background music on learning of secondary school pupils.  Pupils performed worse on comprehension test after being exposed to background music. The study was poorly conducted. It had no comparison group and the kind of music used may be a contributory factor.

Integrating music in the curriculum also does not show evidence of beneficial effects. Only two studies were found, and both were flawed.

Creative drama as an enrichment activity does not show promise either. One study showed negative effect on behaviour, but there are concerns about the method of evaluation used in the study.

For pupils across age groups

Visual arts, dance and drama generally do not have evidence of useful benefits for children across age groups. Few evaluations were conducted on the effects of these arts activities for children across age groups. For visual arts, large-scale meta-analyses and experimental studies with causal design concluded no effect on cognitive skills. Only one study showed that exposing pupils aged 8 to 18 to visual art work in the museum had positive effects on their critical thinking skills. The test used for measuring outcomes may be related to the intervention.

There were only two studies on dance; one showed no effect on peer relationships and the second showed small effect using a very small sample.

Both studies on drama showed no beneficial effects on children across age groups, and both could not establish causal links.

2. RECOMMENDATIONS

Research in the area of arts education effects on cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes has been weak. A few medium quality studies were found. Many of these were correlational in design conducted in the US comparing arts with non-arts schools or arts specialist studies with non-arts students. As high performing schools in the US were encouraged to do arts, such studies cannot determine the effects of arts on academic outcomes.  Experimental studies tended to be small-scale, with no clear random selection or allocation of participants to intervention groups. Some did not have comparators, so it was difficult to attribute any results to the arts activities in question. Others included a range of arts activities, so it was not possible to say which art forms were responsible for the results.

Below are some recommendations for research on arts education.

  • More rigorous and robust evaluations of the impact of arts activities are needed. These should ideally focus on one or two art forms so that effect of the specific art activity can be isolated.  These should involve random allocation of sample, large scale (over 100 in each intervention arm). Where pupils’ art products are assessed, judgements should be by independent expert judges who are blind to treatment allocation.
  • As arts are often associated with fun and leisure activities, to make sure that any changes in outcomes are not due to the novelty effect, it is necessary to have an alternative innovative treatment for comparison, in order to separate the effect of the arts activity from the fun aspect. Is it increased enjoyment or is it the arts activity itself that lead to improved learning?
  • Future research needs to think of more objective ways to measure non-cognitive outcomes.
  • There is a need to develop rich measures to help evaluate whether arts can lead to the transfer of skills to other curriculum subjects.
  • If interventions are to be carried out in the classroom by regular classroom teachers the teachers need to be trained accordingly, and willing to use the proposed strategies. Resistant from teachers can affect the successful implementation of the programme.
  • Professional artists or certified drama or music teachers can be engaged who can incorporate, for example, mathematical concepts in their art lessons. These professionals can work together with classroom teachers to achieve the lesson objectives. Walsh-Bowers and Basso (1999) suggested that motivated group leaders who are skilled in group work and creative activity and familiar with school settings are necessary for successful implementation.
  • Process evaluations are needed to understand the transference of arts learning or arts activities to other domains of learning (such as literacy or maths), and more importantly to understand the mechanism – and how this can be tested in future research.

 What arts activities can be piloted?

Overall, there are no promising studies found, but there are a few arts activities that could be trialled to test their effects. On the other hand, there are some arts forms where few evaluations have been conducted. Preliminary research on these could be carried out before testing them.

  1. Preliminary research

Preliminary research on the impact of arts is needed for the pre-school phase. There is currently very little research for this age group. For example, there is no study on the use of poetry or rhymes on the development of vocabulary and reading fluency for pre-school children.

There are very few evaluations of the impact of poetry and creative writing for school-aged pupils. This is an area that can be explored first with preliminary research before testing them on a larger scale.

  1. Pilot trials

Instrumental music training using the Orff, Kindermusik and Kodaly methods could be pilot tested for children of all age groups.

Integrating creative drama in the classroom could be piloted for children of all age groups. Currently, the evidence of impact is inconclusive because of weaknesses in the study designs in most of the studies.

 3. INTRODUCTION

This literature review was commissioned by the EEF to assess the evidence of impact of arts education on a range of cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes of school-aged children (ages 3 to 16). The purpose of the review was two-fold:

  • Review the policy and practice in arts education
  • Map and identify the types of arts education in schools both in UK and worldwide and

evaluate and synthesise the evidence based on quality assessments of the security of evidence

3.1 Review of policy and practice in arts education

This section provides an overview of recent policy and practice developments in arts education looking specifically at music, dance, drama and visual arts education.

3.1.1 Music Education

A variety of political and sector-led initiatives supported by successive governments’ policies have led to changes in the music education landscape in recent years.  The Henley review of music education in England (Henley 2011) described the expectations of how music education should develop through a series of recommendations designed to ensure consistent music education provision for all children in English schools.  Later in the same year (November 2011), the first National Plan for Music Education was published (DfE 2011).  It aimed to ensure a high quality music education where children from all backgrounds and every part of England would have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, make music with others through whole-class ensemble teaching programmes for a minimum of a term, learn to sing and have clear progression routes available.  A short survey of music education partnership work in schools (Ofsted 2012a) commissioned by the Department for Education as part of the National Plan for Music Education, aimed to support schools in monitoring the effectiveness of music provision and developing musical partnerships by highlighting examples of best practice.

The National Plan for Music Education also introduced the new music education hubs which would take forward the work of local authority music services to help improve the quality and consistency of music education across England.  These music education hubs were created in September 2012.  An Ofsted report that was released in November 2013 entitled ‘Music in Schools: what hubs must do, the challenging conversation with schools’ (Ofsted 2013) urged hubs to reframe the nature of their relationships with schools and school leadership teams arguing that they were failing to support schools in raising pupil attainment standards.  Even though the hubs visited were thought to bring new energy and vitality to musical work in schools, only a minority of pupils was reached. A recent collaborative research project commissioned by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM 2014) recognised the wealth of initiatives that helped bring about real improvement in music education.  However, similarly to the Ofsted report, it also raised areas of concern particularly in relation to children from lower socio-economic groups being significantly disadvantaged in comparison with children from more affluent backgrounds.  Furthermore, the study found regional support to be variable and there were poorly supported progression routes available for learners.  Similar observations were made in an independent review of music education in schools commissioned by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (Zerserson2014).  The review found inconsistencies in the quality of music education in the UK with low teacher confidence and support but improved quality of music-making, diversity and inclusiveness in school music.  The Musical Futures initiative was found to contribute positively to music education in schools enhancing teaching confidence and professional satisfaction, as well as engaging teachers in peer learning and professional networks.  Similar benefits of Musical Futures were reported in a case study investigation carried out over a three year period (Hallam, Creech & McQueen, 2011).

There are plenty of music education initiatives, various organisations and charities in the UK and worldwide that aim to support children’s musical development in formal and informal educational contexts.  Some notable examples in the UK include the Sing Up organisation which was launched in 2007 as the National Singing Programme for Primary schools in England under the UK Government’s Music Manifesto and continues to offer singing resources, training and personalised support to schools. Furthermore, funded by the British cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, In Harmon is a commendable social and music education programme based on the international El Sistema movement that uses music to bring positive change to the lives of children in disadvantaged areas of England through ensemble musical participation.  Other organisations that offer music education support in the UK include the Schools Music Association, the Youth Music Network, and the UK Association for Music Education (Music Mark) among others.  Outside of the UK, Musica Viva seeks to offer musical support to schools in Australian schools and Music Together is an internationally recognised music programme for children from birth through age 7 offering a range of high quality music education and outreach programmes.

3.1.2 Dance Education

Concerns have been raised about dance being ‘severely underfunded’ as an art form that lacks adequate representation in the school system in England.  Following Darren Henley’s review of music in schools (Henley 2011), Sadler’s Wells artistic director Alistair Spalding called for a similar initiative in dance in an attempt to seek the support of the government for the promotion of dance in education (Woolman 2011). In his Cultural Education in England Review (Henley 2012), Darren Henley recommended that Dance should be seen as a subject area in its own right and not as a supplement to Physical Education (PE).  However, this recommendation was not followed through in the 2013 new National Curriculum in England. In a campaign to fight for the position of dance in schools and the curriculum in England, Linda Jasper, director of Youth Dance England, argued that dance should be an entitlement for all children and young people as part of a broad and balanced programme, whether it is taught within PE or Dance/Performing Arts contexts (Jasper 2012).

Frank Doran (Member of Parliament) strongly supported the role dance can play in education[i] arguing for the popularity of dance as an art form among young people, especially for girls.  Effective provision of dance in schools could encourage women to exercise for their whole lives (Doran 2011). Similarly, Sir Ken Robinson urged schools to devote equal time to dance and maths arguing that it is important for children to learn to use their bodies as well as their minds: “You live in your body all day long.  And… how we relate to ourselves physically is of fundamental importance to our sense of self” (Robinson 2014).

Recent sports funding provision to primary schools was expected to offer “a new lifeline for dance education in schools” (Fort 2013) and a number of dance-related initiatives aimed to increase dance educational opportunities for boys(Jobbins 2005) and participation in dance for young people in Scotland (Muldoon and Inchley 2008). An audit of dance provision in English schools recommended the improvement of dance facilities in schools, the provision of further opportunities for boys to engage in dance education in curriculum and out of schools hours, as well as greater availability of professional dance teachers in curriculum provision, more continuing professional opportunities for those providing dance education and more links with external organisations (Youth Sport Trust 2006/2007). The importance of such improved dance provision is echoed in earlier remarks made at an earlier conference that took place in Westminster in 2002 (Hale 2002).  The overriding message was that “The future of dance in Britain begins at school” and that

“…if children are to be encouraged to continue dancing after age 11 they need, above all, to be exposed to great dancing that moves, inspires and connects with them.  They need to work directly with first-class artists to encounter the reality of dance as a career.  And there needs to be a continuity between dance in the curriculum and the informal and culturally diverse forms of dance that 10 million young people per week experience in their lives.”

A number of national and more localised organisations such as arts charities in the UK are available to offer support, training and expertise in dance education in schools (for example, Youth Dance England and Pavilion Dance South West).A variety of other organisations offer specialised expertise and workshops in a number of different dance genres, such as contemporary dance, French dance, multicultural and African dance.

3.1.3 Drama Education

Similar to dance education, drama has been the subject of heated debate in recent years with attempts made to help consolidate its place within the curriculum.  Prior to the publication of the new National Curriculum, concerns were raised about the ‘disturbingly bleak’ future of drama in schools in England (Baldwin 2012) with no secure entitlement for children to learn about and take part in regular drama lessons as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.  The poor image of drama as a subject was reinforced by the emphasis of the English Baccalaureate on ‘a core of academic subjects’.  A report released from the Department for Education in October 2012 on the effects of the English Baccalaureate (Greevy et al.2013) mentioned that drama and performing arts were the most commonly withdrawn GCSE subjects having been dropped in nearly a quarter of schools.  A letter sent in November 2012 from the Department for Education suggested that drama is not considered to be core knowledge as far as ministers are concerned – ‘it is more a question of pedagogy and therefore outside the remit of the (primary) curriculum review’ (Baldwin 2013).

Patrice Baldwin, chair of National Drama and a former Ofsted inspector, described the ‘rapid, irreversible damage’ that recent policy changes have brought about in drama education ranging from its secondary importance as a GCSE subject to PGCE drama specialist courses being cut and the new national curriculum that has further marginalised drama as a subject (Severs 2014).  The Key Stage 3 new national curriculum in English hardly mentions drama and fails to provide drama with a programme of study.  However, there was a positive addition in the English programmes of study for Key Stages 1 and 2 relevant to children’s learning and involvement in drama which was welcomed by the sector (Cultural Learning Alliance 2013).  As with music and dance, a variety of organisations support drama teaching in schools through drama projects and training opportunities, such as Drama Education Network, National Gallery projects, Drama UK and Arts on the Move).

3.1.4 Visual Arts Education

The teaching of art and design in schools occupies a statutory place within the National Curriculum in England (DfE 2013). Its purpose of study is stated as:

“Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.”

Engagement with art and design in school is considered important for the cultivation of a range of skills and competencies, such as the ability to be creative, the development of critical skills, the cultivation of a child’s cultural knowledge and aesthetic judgment.  Supporting views about the value of art and design education have been shared in a number of publications (for example, Schnapp 2009; Earle 2013) including Darren Henley’s recent independent review of cultural education in England.  A 2008 US report funded by the Wallace Foundation (Zakaras and Lowell 2008) argued that arts policies should help cultivate ‘demand’ for the arts in addition to ‘supply’ and ‘access’.  Investing in demand should develop valuable engagement in aesthetic experiences:

“It is our view that without this invest­ment, audiences for the arts will continue to diminish despite heavy investments in supply and access. We propose that policies be balanced to support supply, access, and demand, and that the overarching goal of these policies be to increase the number and quality of aesthetic experiences. These experiences are a better measure of the cultural health of a nation than are the number and quality of its works of art.”

Other recent writings are based on the ‘discipline-based arts education’ (DBAE) approach which was developed in the 1980s by arts educators in an attempt to clarify what should be included in an arts curriculum.  A research report published in 2004 by the National Foundation for Educational Research entitled ‘School art: what’s in it? Exploring visual arts in secondary schools (Downing and Watson 2004), aimed to explore the content of the secondary school art curriculum and examined the range of approaches taken by different teachers and schools in relation to contemporary art practice in particular.  A series of Ofsted publications in 2009 and 2012 (Ofsted 2012b) evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of art, craft and design education in schools and colleges in England making recommendations and putting together resources to help improve provision.  One of the key findings in the 2012 “Making a Mark report” was the strong student enjoyment of the subject across the age and ability range which was marked by students’ positive attitudes in lessons, high attainment and the popularity of the subject as an option in Key Stage 4.

Support and resources are available for art and design teaching and learning through different organisations and programmes such as AccessArt, the work of the Arts Council England with initiatives such as Bridge Organisations and Artsmark in the UK or the Center for Arts Education, the Creative Classrooms Visual Arts Program  as part of the Reinvesting in Arts Education initiative and the National Endowment for the Arts agency in the US among many others.

4. METHODS USED IN THE REVIEW

The studies in this literature review were identified from a search of eleven educational, social sciences and psychological databases: (ASSIA, ERIC, BEI, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, ProQuest dissertations and theses UK & Ireland, ProQuest dissertations and theses Global, Social services and Sociological Abstracts, Educational Abstracts, PsycInfo and PsyARTICLES fulltext

The search was limited to those reported or published in the English language, between the years 1995 and 2015. However, some older materials (pre 1990s) were picked up in the search. We kept some of these if we thought they might add to the evidence base.

The target age of children are those from aged 3 years to 16 or compulsory school age. Arts education refers to a broad range of subjects including the traditional fine arts (e.g. visual arts, music, dance, performing arts, theatre and dance) as well as modern dance and movement, hip hop and creative writing. We included only studies that relate to children in mainstream schools. Studies of interventions designed specifically for children with behavioural or learning disabilities and those who are in institutions or incarcerated were excluded.

This review considered studies on all types of arts programmes/initiatives or experiments that assess impact on cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes. Cognitive outcomes included academic performance on standard tests and teacher assessments, (Key Stage (KS) results and IQ (or any measurement of intelligence). We included a very broad definition of non-cognitive outcomes (such as self-concept, motivation, locus of control, confidence, resilience, leadership skills, creativity) and non-academic school outcomes such as school attendance and attitude towards school or curriculum subjects.

This review was not intended to be comprehensive, but to identify the types of arts activities that have the potential to improve the school achievement and wider/affective outcomes of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The purpose was to provide evidence of the impact of visual arts (defined as painting, drawing, ceramic/pottery, sculpture and printing) , music, drama and dance that will inform the EEF in their decision to call for projects.

A very broad search was conducted using the syntax below:

 ((art* or music, or drama or dance or fine art* or creative writing) AND (program* or initiative* or project or educa or instruct* or educati* or train* or learn*) AND (evaluat* or interven* or trial or experiment or review or meta analys* or cause* or effect* or determinant or regression discontinuity or instrumental variables or longitudinal or randomi* control or controlled trial or cohort study or meta-analys* or systematic review) AND (attain* or achiev* or outcome* or learning outcome* or school outcome* or cognitive outcome* or academic or other outcome* or critical thinking or key stage* or exam* of qualification* or school readiness or test score* or non cognitive or attitude or expectation or aspiration or behav* or intention or motivation or self-efficacy or locus of control) AND (child* or school))

Altogether 76,195 study reports were identified (63,195 from the Social Science databases and 13,000 from the Psychological databases).

Additional search for poetry and creative writing using:

((poetry or poem* or verse or rhyme* or limerick or stanza or creative writing or expressive writing or imaginative writing) AND (program* or initiative* or project or educa or instruct* or educati* or train* or learn*) AND (evaluat* or interven* or trial or experiment or review or meta analys* or cause* or effect* or determinant or regression discontinuity or instrumental variables or longitudinal or randomi* control or controlled trial or cohort study or meta-analys* or systematic review) AND (attain* or achiev* or outcome* or learning outcome* or school outcome* or cognitive outcome* or academic or other outcome* or critical thinking or key stage* or exam* of qualification* or school readiness or test score* or non cognitive or attitude or expectation or aspiration or behav* or intention or motivation or self-efficacy or locus of control) AND (child* or school))

Given the time frame and the wide range of subjects and outcomes, the search cannot be expected to be comprehensive in including all relevant material. It is possible that some studies, for example, commercial evaluations may be missed because they were not publicly available.

In assessing the evidence of impact, consideration was given to the research design of each study. For example, observational and ethnographic studies and those with no pre- post-test comparisons and no comparison groups by themselves cannot demonstrate impact. The evidence of impact was judged based on the research design and not the conclusion or reported effects in the study report. Hence, the positive results from these studies should be read in that light. The identified studies are classified by:

  • phase of schooling (pre-school, primary and secondary)
  • types of interventions broken down by subjects (e.g. music, art, dance and drama, creative writing and multi-arts). Art is broadly defined as visual arts which include drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramic/pottery work and fabric printing.
  • approaches with high levels of supporting evidence of effect
  • approaches with inconclusive evidence or which have not been evaluated
  • approaches with little evidence of success

5. RESULTS

After reading abstracts, a total of 244 papers were identified as directly relevant to the review. Of these 199 were included for data extraction from reading the full paper. These were empirical studies that include description of the sample and the interventions. Ethnographic studies which were narrative accounts of the researchers’ experience were largely excluded. However, a few ethnographic narrative studies on creative writing and poetry were included because of the sparsity of studies in these two areas. Advocacy pieces without data were also excluded from the review. We included all empirical pieces; those using experimental designs as well as observational pieces, but excluded those that espouse theoretical frameworks of how arts education might be beneficial to learning. The vast majority of research in this area was undertaken in the US, most of which were PhD theses. There was much less experimental research on arts participation in the UK. Biased reporting is not uncommon. As an illustration, we singled out some here for discussion:

James (2011) concluded that infusing arts was effective in enhancing maths engagement and achievement because of the big gains made by experimental children between pre- and post-test. However, the results showed that control children made even bigger gains but this was not mentioned in the discussion. The author then went on to cite positive effects on engagement using teacher reports. E.g. “’I think the kids really enjoyed the lessons’ and ‘One of students who rarely turned in homework started to turn in his maths homework

In another study, Thomas and Arnold (2011) reported programme effects on pupils’ interest and attitudes towards school and creative expression based on feedback from teachers and administrators even though effects on the affective outcomes of pupils were not assessed.

Bettencourt (2009), despite finding no effects concluded that the overall data showed that the intervention had positive benefits on students and educators, and that self-reflected learning was beneficial to students. The researcher then made recommendations for introducing writing activities into maths lessons stating that traditional methods of teaching maths had been shown by previous research to be ineffective.

Similarly, Ayers (1993) reported no significant differences between groups, but concluded that pupils in the treatment group showed greater retention of information. This was not substantiated by the data presented. In fact the data suggest that control children made bigger gains than those in the experimental group. In terms of retention, the data showed that both groups registered a loss in retention of information, but analysis of data 6 weeks after the intervention showed that control group retained more information than experimental group. Even after controlling for reading and maths pre-test, no significant results were found.

Another example is a study by Harland et al. (2000). The study showed no relationship between arts participation and performance at national exam when prior attainment and social background were accounted for. Yet they claimed that arts participation boosted general academic performance and also resulted in greater personal development.  It has to be noted that positive effects on creativity, critical thinking, self-confidence and other personal and social development skills were assessed using interviews.

In another study, Gabhaainn et al. (2001) suggested that the increase in self-esteem in the 2 intervention groups were comparable, even though the data suggest that the control group actually made bigger gains. This was because one of the comparison groups participated in a self-esteem enhancement programme ‘Circle Time’, which was more effective than the community arts programme.

As each of the art forms involves a range of activities and also a range of outcomes, we discuss the effects separately. For example, under music we isolate the effects of listening to music and playing an instrument

Since different activities affect different outcomes, we also aim to discuss their effects separately. For example, although integrating visual arts in the classroom may be beneficial for academic learning, arts as an extra-curricular activity may not be useful as a behaviour intervention.

Not all art forms have similar impact on children in different phases of schooling. For this reason, we synthesise the results by school phase.

Table 1: Number of studies for each arts form

Types of arts Number of studies
Visual art/general art (drawing, painting, sculpture, pottery) 26

Music71Dance15Drama27Creative writing7Multi-arts38Poetry15Total199

The vast majority of the studies were about music education and its effects on young people’s cognitive, social, emotional, behavioural and academic outcomes. The next biggest group of studies was those that looked at combined arts activities in school – music, drama, visual arts and dance. Our search picked up very few studies on creative writing as an artistic activity. Much of the research on this area evaluates creative writing in higher education, and even then the evaluation was about creative writing as an outcome and not as an influencing factor on learning outcomes.

There were also proportionately more arts education studies for primary school children than any other age group (Table 2).

Table 2: Types of arts activities and phase of schooling

Pre-school (under 6) Primary (6-11) Secondary (12-16) Across age groups
Visual art/general art (drawing, painting, sculpture, pottery) 3 12 8 3
Drama 5 12 8 2
Dance 2 6 5 2
Music 17 30 20 4
Creative writing - 1 6 -
Poetry - 5 10 -
Multi-arts 1 13 5 19
Total 28 79 62 30

 We summarise the results by phase of schooling, reported impact and types of arts activities. To determine how much confidence we can place on the findings of the included studies, we assessed the quality of evidence based on the research design (sample size, selection and allocation of sample, attrition, threats to validity and reliability and appropriate analyses), and not solely on the reported outcomes. For example, several studies reported positive impact even though there was no data. There were a number which completely ignored the data and made their own conclusions independent of the data. We largely ignored the conclusions but based our assessment on the quality of the evaluation.

We then categorized the findings by three levels of evidence: those that have high levels of evidence of effect; those with inconclusive evidence and those with no evidence of beneficial effects. The latter included those that have no or negative effects or where effects were not evaluated, as well as those where there were too few studies to judge the strength of the evidence.

It is important to make a distinction between studies where we can trust the evidence of impact and those where the evidence is weak or non-existent regardless of whether the reported impact is positive or not. This is the purpose of the evidence rating. Studies that reported positive impacts and rated medium in evidence would have greater evidence of impact compared to those which reported positive impacts but rated weak in evidence. For example, there were reports that claimed that children had made significant gains at the end of the intervention without any comparison group. With no true counterfactual it is impossible to say if the children would have made similar progress if they had not been on the programme.

There were studies that compared children in one cohort with those from previous cohorts in one school. Any differences could be due to differences in pupil intakes. There were also studies that compared children who were selected by teachers for participation with those that were not, and some compared children in arts-focused schools with non-arts focused schools. These studies would be judged weak in evidence as the two groups of children are likely to be different so any improvements could be due to differences in the type of pupils and not necessarily the result of the intervention.

It is also not uncommon to find studies that reported big gains on teacher/researcher-developed tests or teacher surveys. A number of studies also reported significant improvements based on teachers’ perceptions of impact, but no effects based on standardized tests. There were a number of large-scale correlational studies using national data. These were generally well conducted, and were rated medium weak, mainly because they suggest a link between arts participation and pupil outcomes, but on their own they cannot demonstrate causality. However, if there are enough studies suggesting a relationship and these are supplemented by randomized trials showing positive effects, then the evidence can be quite compelling. If no high quality controlled trials were found, then this can be an indication that trials could be conducted to test the positive relationship suggested by these large-scale correlational studies.

Details of these studies can be found in the Appendix. To facilitate reading, we have pulled out these studies and organised them first by phase of schooling and then by whether they have promise based on the level of evidence presented by the studies uncovered.

5.1 ARTS EDUCATION FOR PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN (AGE 3-5/6)

There were relatively few studies that evaluated the impact of arts education on pre-school children’s learning outcomes. Only 28 studies were found, most of which were on music education.

5.1.1. ARTS ACTIVITIES WITH SOME POTENTIAL

Music training 

Table 2: Music (n=17)

No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact 1 1
Mixed impact 2 2
Positive impact suggested

14 8

2  (with promise)

2 not determined2 (medium to weak)

The most promising arts activity for pre-school children is music training. The largest number of studies for this age group of children was about music integration and playing an instrument. Of the 17 studies, 14 reported positive results and 4 of these looked promising.

There is stronger evidence for playing an instrument than just listening to music. Three methods of learning to play an instrument have shown to have positive effects on very young children’s cognitive development: Kindermusik, Orff and the Kodaly method of music instruction. Positive effects of music training (playing an instrument) were reported for a range of outcomes: creativity (Duncan 2007), spatial-temporal ability (Gromko and Poorman 1998), IQ scores (Kaviani et al. 2014; Nering 2002), reading and language (Myant et la. 2008; Harris 2011).

One study on monozygotic twins (Nering 2002) produced quite convincing results of the impact of music training on intelligence. Nering conducted a 7-month experiment on 10 sets of monozygotic twins aged 3 to 7. One of each set of twins received private piano instruction, while the other received no training. Experimental twin showed significant improvement in IQ and arithmetic scores on the Wechsler test of intelligence, but control twin did not.

5.1.2 ARTS ACTIVITIES WITH INCONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE

Integrating music in the curriculum

The evidence for integrating music into the curriculum is weaker. Several studies reported positive impact but they had serious design issues. One involved only 14 children (McDonel et al. 2013), another included only children whose parents were academics in a University child care centre (Ritblatt et al. 2013). Others did not involve random allocation of participants (e.g. Runfalo et al. 2012; Wellman 2007: Fisher 2011), or based results on classroom observation of a small number of children (Wade 2011) with no comparison group. In Wade’s study positive changes were observed in only 3 out of the 8 children and the results were not convincing. The assessments of impact were based purely on observations. Wellman (2007) reported higher post-test scores for experimental children, but it was not clear if experimental groups made bigger gains than control groups between pre and post-test. There were substantial differences in pre-test scores which could explain the higher post-test scores of the experimental group. The very small samples had implications for external validity.

Creative drama 

Table 2b: Drama (n=5)

No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact 1 1
Mixed impact 1 1
Positive impact suggested 3 3

Creative drama has shown potential but only for reading (Goodman 1990; Pelligrini and Galda 1982; Pelligrini 1984). The evidence, however, is not strong. Only three studies were found, and they were all small-scale (with fewer than 50 participants in each intervention group). One did not have a control group and two did not have pre- post-test comparisons, so it was not possible to say if improvement in reading skills was due to the drama activity or natural development of the children.  Two other studies showed no effect on social-cognitive skills (Smith 2011; Mage 2008). Both were weak evaluations. One used an invalid test meant for older children, and the other did not randomize children to treatment groups. So any differences could be due to differences between children and not the intervention.

Integration of combined arts activities

Table 2: Multi-arts (n=1)

No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact
Mixed impact
Positive impact suggested 1 1 (medium to weak)

Only one paper on multi-arts integration was found for pre-school children (Brown et al. 2010). The Kaleidoscope integrated multi arts programme appears promising, but the two studies reported in this paper were flawed in their design; one did not have a true counterfactual, and the other had only a sample of 63 but used a placebo (alternative programme) to control for the Hawthorne effect. What is impressive are the large effect sizes reported for academic outcomes (receptive vocabulary and early learning) measured using standardised tests (ES =1.7; 1.5).

 5.1.3 ARTS ACTIVITIES WITH LITTLE EVIDENCE OF EFFECT

 Listening to music

There is no evidence that listening to music (so called Mozart Effect) is beneficial. The two studies showed conflicting results. Thompson (2005) suggested positive effect of listening to classical music on psycho-motor skills, while Bressler (2003) found no effect on children’s memory. Both studies were weak, involving very small sample (under 100) taken from one setting. This posed a threat to external validity. Bressler’s study was only a 10-minute session, too short for real effects (if any) to be realized. Thompson’s study did not involve random assignment of children. Children could be different in ability, motivation, prior musical experiences etc. The classes were also taught by different teachers – teaching quality and teacher characteristics may have influenced the results.

 Dance, visual arts

 Table 2: Visual arts (n=3)

No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact 1 1
Mixed impact 2 2
Positive impact suggested -

Table 2:  Dance (n=2)

No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact 1 1
Mixed impact
Positive impact suggested 1 1

All the other arts activities did not show evidence of impact. Few studies were found for dance (n=2) and visual arts (n=3). These were all rated weak in evidence. Some did not evaluate outcomes (e.g. Hardy 2011 on visual arts; Cheung 2010 on dance), or where they did it was based on teacher/parents’ ratings (e.g. Lobo and Winsler 2006).

 5.2 ARTS EDUCATION FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN (AGE 6-11)

Arts education for primary school children was by far the largest group with 79 studies in all. A large proportion was on music education (n=30). The rest was on a combination of multi-art forms (n=13), drama (n-12) and visual arts (n=12), and a small number on dance (n=6) and poetry (n=5). There was only one study about creative writing for primary school children.

5.2.1 ARTS ACTIVITIES WITH POTENTIAL

There is some evidence that music has favourable effects on young children’s learning outcomes, in particular cognitive abilities, and to some extent self-esteem and social behaviour. Of the 30 studies, 20 suggested positive effects. Four of these were of medium weak quality. Individually the evidence from these studies may be weak, but taken together the positive effects suggest there is potential in this area that is worth pursuing.

 Table 3:Music (n= 30)

No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact 6 1 5
Mixed impact 4 3 1 medium weak
Positive impact suggested 20 16 4 medium weak

Integrating music in the curriculum

Integrating music in the curriculum and playing an instrument hold the most promise. A range of positive outcomes was reported. Integrating music in the curriculum has consistently shown to have positive effects on reading (e.g. Cochran 2009; Lyons 2009; Register et al. 2007; Peters 2011; Bryant 2013; Walton 2013) as well as on maths (An 2013; Courey et al. 2012;). Two studies showed no effects, but both were weak. One had only 25 children taken from one school (Tendall 2010). The music and movement group already achieved the highest scores in the pre-test, leaving no room for improvements. The lack of difference between groups could be due to the ceiling effect. Another study reported that the groups were not statistically different on pre- post-test of reading attitude (Kingsriter 1998). The use of significant tests on such a small sample (n=2 classes) was inappropriate.

 Music training/playing an instrument

Music training and learning to play an instrument also shows promise, although the evidence is weak. Positive outcomes were reported for speech (e.g. François et al. 2013; Moreno et al. 2009), brain development (e.g. Olsen 2010; Schlaug et al 2005; Schellenberg 2004; Degé et al.), academic outcomes (e.g. Harris 2008; Piro and Ortiz 2009) and other cognitive skills (e.g. Roden et al. 2014; Costa-Giomi 1999). All these studies apart from two were rated weak (François et al. 2013; Schellenberg 2004). The UK study (Harris 2008) involved 190 participants who came from one type of school. This limits the generalization of the findings to other populations. Crucially, there was no comparison of gain scores, and it was not clear if children were randomly allocated. The higher scores achieved by the music group may suggest that the two groups were not equal to begin with. Although brain scans showed changes in the brain development of musically trained children, there was no evidence that the changes translated to improvements in academic attainment (Schlaug et al. 2005; Olsen 2010). The well-conducted studies, tended to be small scale (e.g François et al. n= 28; Moreno et al. n=33). Larger scale studies were invariably correlational studies that could not establish causality (e.g. Moinar 2012)

5.2.2 ARTS ACTIVITIES WITH INCONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE

Creative drama

Table 3: Drama (n= 12)

No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact 3 1 1 1
Mixed impact 4 3 1 medium to weak
Positive impact suggested 5 5 (4 with potential)

 For primary school aged children, creative drama appears to have some promise on academic outcomes though not for non-cognitive outcomes. Five reported positive effects, but were all rated weak in evidence (Hendrix 2011; Poulsen 1998; Parks & Rose 1997; Joseph 2014; Du Pont 1992). All had a small sample (under 50 in each treatment arm), and two did not randomly allocate participants (Hendrix 2011; Poulsen 1998). Four further studies showed effects for some measures and no effects on others (Goldstein 2010; Laurin 2010; Rose 2000; Fizzano). In most cases creative drama was integrated in the classroom as part of an instructional strategy. Although the evidence from the individual studies is weak, the consistent positive effects on academic outcomes suggest there is potential for pilot trials to test the effectiveness of the intervention (e.g. Rose 2000; Joseph 2014; Hendrix 2011).

Visual arts

Table 3a: Visual arts (n=12)

No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact 3 2 1
Mixed impact 6 6
Positive impact suggested 3 3

There is also no clear evidence that visual arts can enhance the cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes of primary school children. There were three positive studies and six with mixed results. The three positive studies all reported effects on cognitive outcomes (history, creative thinking and maths) and all involved integrating visual arts in the lessons. However, all had either a very small sample or unclear sample (Phillips and Bickley-Green 1998), allocated by class to treatment groups. In one study the experimental children also received additional enrichment activities which were not available to the control group (Brugar 2012). Two of the four positive studies did not have a control group (Fountain 2007; Phillips and Bickley-Green 1998), so it was not possible to say if the children would have made the same progress without the intervention.

Finnan-Jones’ study reported positive effects on standardised tests of maths for 194 English language learners. Children were allocated non-randomly by class (n=4). This study may be replicated using large randomised samples with proper counterfactuals and control for confounding variables. Luffing’s (2000) study of SPECTRA+ (a creative arts programme) showed positive effects of SPECTRA+ on overall test of creativity but not on the subtest of elaboration. Positive effects were seen in one district on maths, reading and vocabulary, but not in another district, and among boys and only for some grades. Different assessments were also used in different districts which could explain the different outcomes, and conditions were nested within schools so there is a possibility of diffusion. This was a fairly large study involving 615 children. Catterall and Peppler (2007) found effects of visual arts on only some measures of non-cognitive outcomes. This was also a small study involving 170 non-randomly selected and allocated children. Differences in outcomes could be due to pupil characteristics or teacher effectiveness. Another study found no effect of visual arts on standardized tests of non-verbal intelligence (Stephens 1996).

Integration of combined arts activities

Table 3 – Multi-arts (n= 13)

No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact 1 1
Mixed impact 8 7 1
Positive impact suggested 4 3 1

 It is also not clear whether infusing a combination of arts into the school curriculum has any beneficial effect for primary school children. The overall evidence is weak. Four studies reported positive effects (Venzen 2011; James 2011; Manning 2003; Clark 2007). Eight studies showed mixed results (Kinney and Forsythe 2005; Matthews 2001; Ffolkes-Bryant 2010; Smithrim and Upitis 2005; Van Nuys 1998; Yorke-Vinney 2007; Omniewski 1999; Luftig 2000).  These studies reported positive impact for some subjects, for some grades and certain types of school and children (e.g. SEN and low SES).

One study found no beneficial effects of infusing arts on children’s maths performance (Muehlbauer 2000).  This was a study of the DWOK (Different Ways of Knowing) programme which integrated visual and performing arts in the curriculum. It was a large study involving 831 children comparing children in DWOK schools with matched non-programme schools. The study was rated medium weak because there was no pre-post test comparisons and no baseline equivalence was established.

 5.2.3 ARTS ACTIVITIES WITH LITTLE EVIDENCE OF EFFECT

Creative arts as an extra-curricular activity

A large-scale study involving 400 children showed that arts as an extra-curricular activity in school had negative effects on primary school children’s reading and arithmetic (measured on standardized tests). Experimental children made less gains in arithmetic scores compared to control children. In reading, both groups did worse in the post-test than in the pre-test, but the experimental group did significantly worse. Standardised tests on non-cognitive outcomes (achievement motivation, self-image and peer acceptance) also showed no obvious effects of participation in the extended school day activity. This study was rated medium because of the large sample. Although the groups were not randomly allocated, baseline equivalence was established.

School-based arts

An evaluation of a school-based creative arts programme (Wurzel 2012) reported negative effects on problem-solving behaviour. Although experimental children made bigger gains than control children on self-esteem and affective outcomes, the differences were not significant.  This study was rated weak because of the very small sample (n=29) and no randomization to treatment conditions. Groups were not equal to begin with. 85% of control children had anger issues compared to experimental children (38%). The intervention was also not fully implemented because of non-compliance within groups due to disruptive behaviours.

Aesthetic appreciation of art

One study which involved teaching children aesthetic appreciation found no effect on metacognition and literary skills (Dennis 1995). This was also a small study (n=52) with no random selection or random allocation to groups. The study was rated weak because of serious flaws in its design. Both treatment groups were exposed to aesthetic appreciation prior to the study, so there is diffusion of intervention effects. There were no reliable measurements for assessing literary analysis. The assessments were specific to the instruction. The intervention involved getting pupils to practice making a concept map addressing the question: What do you look for and think about in a work of art? The test prompts used exactly the same practice questions that were familiar to the experimental pupils but not for the control children.

Creative drama on non-cognitive skills

All the negative studies showed no effects of drama on non-cognitive outcomes of primary school aged children (Schaffner et al. 1984; Roberts 2007; Freeman et al. 2003). Schaffner et al. (1984) did not evaluate the impact, but suggested and speculated on the possible effects. There was also no comparison group, so it was not possible to say if drama activities had any beneficial effect on language use compared to regular classroom activities. Roberts’s (2007) study found no effect on self-concept. The evidence, however, was weak because of several issues with the study design. The sample included 30 5th grade children. These were non-randomly selected and allocated. The groups were not equivalent at the outset. Also, both groups were exposed to other forms of art, music and other innovative teaching instruction. All these could have diluted the effects. Freeman et al. (2003) also found no effects of creative drama on self-concept and other non-cognitive skills (social skills and behaviour). This was a well-conducted study and with proper randomization and pre- post-test comparisons. Although the sample was reasonably large (n=237), it was divided into four groups. Effectively, there were only 49 participants in the treatment group and 47 in the control with pre- and post-test data. All children received some kind of enrichment activities, but on days when the experimental group had drama, the control had music. As the control group was involved in music (also an arts activity) comparing music and drama may obscure the benefits of the treatment if participation in music influences the traits related to the outcomes measured. This study was therefore, rated medium to weak.

Other arts activities

Table 3: Dance (n= 6)

No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact 3 1 2
Mixed impact 1 1
Positive impact suggested 2 1 1 (Medium weak) 

Table 3: Poetry (n= 5)

No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact 1 1
Mixed impact
Positive impact suggested 4 1 3

 The evidence of impact for the other arts activities (dance, poetry and creative writing) was weak. There were only six studies on dance for primary school children, five on poetry and 1 on creative writing.

 There is no clear evidence that creative dance has any influence on primary school children’s cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes. Six studies on dance were found, two showed negative effects (DiSanto-Rose 1996; Von Rossberg-Gempton date), one did not evaluate the effect (Giguere 2007) and one reported effects on only some aspects of academic self-concept for girls only (Stratton-Gonzales 2008). All were rated weak in evidence. Both the positive studies had no comparison group and had a very small sample (one had only 10, the other 30 participants). Generally, dance was reported to benefit girls more than boys.

The evidence for the impact of poetry on young children’s outcomes is generally weak. Only five studies were found, of which four reported positive effects on academic and non-cognitive outcomes. Of these 4, three did not actually evaluate impact but inferred effects from pupils’ responses. Crozer’s (2014) evaluation, for example, was based on interviews with 28 of the 803 pupils who were taught through the after-school programme. The pupils reported enjoying the lessons more than before. The sample could be a biased selection of the keen and enthusiastic ones. Friedman (2012) also interviewed pupils to get their feedback on the programme. The researcher was also the teacher, so this could have influenced pupils’ responses. The study involved only 28 children from one class with no comparison group. Another study was based on a case study of five children from a class of 40. Children volunteered for the lunch time writing club. Positive effects on children’s cognitive and linguistic development were deduced from the researcher’s interpretation from the children’s writing. Other non-cognitive effects were based on the pupils’ self-report. The only positive study with proper evaluation was based on 16 children and case study report of six. The children volunteered to join the after-school club, so the results (if any) may not be achieved with less willing participants. There was no comparison group, so any improvements could be due to factors such as maturation, novelty effect or teacher effect. These confounding factors were not controlled, so it is difficult to say if the changes in reading behaviour were the result of the intervention. Assessments were also based on teacher or researcher-developed instruments, which may be intervention specific.

 Only one study on creative writing for primary school children was found (Simle 1993). The study reported that children taught creative writing performed better than children in the control group and those not using any spelling words. The test was on spelling words used in the intervention. On standardized test of unfamiliar words, there were differences in results. The evidence of impact was weak because the test was not valid since it used spelling words that the treatment children practiced in the weekly session, but were not available to children in the other 2 groups.

5.3 ARTS EDUCATION FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN (AGE 11-16/17)

 5.3.1 ARTS ACTIVITIES WITH POTENTIAL

 No promising studies were found for this age group.

 5.3.2 ARTS ACTIVITIES WITH INCONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE

 Music training

Table 4: Music (n= 20)

  No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact

5

4

1Mixed impact1 1 Positive impact suggested14 131 (medium to weak)

 Music education, including playing an instrument, appears to have some promise though the evidence is weak. 18 studies were about music training. 14 suggested beneficial effects on young people’s school outcomes as well as other non-cognitive outcomes (e.g. self-concept, self-efficacy, motivation and behaviour). All apart from one was rated weak. Almost all were correlational studies (Degé et al. 2014; Wilson 2009; Rodgers 1999; Fitzpatrick 2006; Kurt 2011).  Several compared students who opted for music as an exam subject with students who did not opt for music (Cabanac et a. 2013; Horton 2012; Van der Vossen 2013; Waller 2007). The correlational design of the studies can only suggest a link between music and outcomes, but does not determine the direction of causation. Students enrolled in music at school may be inherently different to those who did not.

Studies that showed no relationships were invariably small-scale involving one school. The evidence is thus inconclusive. One study involving 29 children (Charles 2014) found no differences between pupils who participated in music (instrumental music education in school) and those who received no music instruction in school on Graduate Exit Exam. Another study suggested that there was no relationship between school band involvement and social-emotional competence, but the analyses provided no evidence for this (Chase 2012). This study had only 37 pupils and 7 band members. Deer  (2010) compared students in an outstanding music school with a non-music school. Positive effects were found for 4th grade children on both reading and maths, but for 8th grade pupils effects were found only for reading. This was a medium quality study. A small- scale quasi experiment found mixed effects of keyboarding on students’ self-efficacy (Previti 2003). A large-scale secondary analysis of standardized test scores of 15,630 high school students in the US found no differences between students who did music at school and those who did not (Elpus 2013) after controlling for background variables.

Given the large number of positive relationships found between music participation and academic and affective outcomes from the large albeit localized correlational studies across many states in the US and in other countries, and the few small scale intervention studies, there is justification for large-scale randomized controlled efficacy trials to test the causal effects of music education on secondary school aged children.

Integration of creative drama in the classroom

Table 4: Creative drama (n=8)

  No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact

1

1

 
Mixed impact

1

1

 
Positive impact suggested

6

5

1 (medium weak)

 There is some evidence that creative drama may have potential benefits on the academic outcomes of secondary school children, but there is no evidence that they have beneficial effects on young people’s behaviour and social outcomes. Six out of the eight studies suggested positive effects. Five of these reported positive effects on academic outcomes (Catterall et al. 1999; Otten et al. 2004; Duatepe-Paksu and Ubuz 2009; Arieli 2007; Cormack 2004), and one on empathy and theory of mind (Goldstein 2010). However, they all suffer from serious design flaws in design, so the evidence of impact is less clear. In some studies assignment to conditions was unclear (Cromack 2004; Duatepe-Paksu and Ubuz 2009). Goldstein’s study involved volunteers and no comparison of gain scores. It was therefore not possible to say if the control pupils would have made the same gains. One UK study reported significant effect on self-concept using a multi-dimensional self-concept scale and teacher reports. A Canadian study using validated tests showed inconclusive results on social skills. A second Canadian study showed no effect on behaviour and peer relationships based on teacher reports. Observation and interview data suggested that drama intervention had a negative effect on adolescents’ attitude towards drama. The overall evidence is weak because of the use of the different outcomes and different instruments used for measuring these outcomes. The two Canadian studies had very small samples (one involving 24 children and the other had only 29). Participants were not randomly allocated.

Combined arts activities

Table 4: Multi-arts (n=5)

  No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact

Mixed impact1  1Positive impact reported4 22 (medium weak)

Five studies on combined arts were found for secondary school children. Four reported positive effects, but the evidence is weak.  One had no control group and no pre- post-test comparisons to establish changes in attitudes (Poe 2000). The assessment involved rating of lessons from extremely boring to extremely joyful. The researcher was also the teacher who also collected the data. This could have influenced participants’ responses. Another study involved students who were not randomly selected or allocated (Konrad 1999). Outcomes were based on teachers’ and pupils’ self-reports which are highly unreliable. Two other studies were by the same author (Catterall et al. 1999; Catterall 2012). Both were longitudinal studies comparing students’ level of arts participation and their academic performance. There was also no differentiation between the different art forms, so it was not clear which art activities had the most influence.

 One large-scale study of Year 11 pupils in the UK (Harland et al.’s 2000) found no evidence that participation in the arts boost performance in national exams after controlling for prior attainment and social background. Pupils reported improvements in creativity, critical thinking, self-confidence and social development. This suggests that self-reports may not be reliable and that improvements in well-being do not necessarily lead to better academic performance.

 5.3.3 ARTS ACTIVITIES WITH NO EVIDENCE OF EFFECT

 Background music

There is no evidence that playing background music facilitated learning. In fact it may have detrimental effects. One study of 334 fifth grade students found that students’ reading comprehension performance declined when listening to music (Anderson and Fuller 2010). Those that expressed a strong preference for listening to music while studying also did particularly badly on the comprehension test. This was a weak study. It had no comparison group, and the kind of music played may be a factor rather than the music itself. Different types of music may produce different results. It is also conceivable that children respond differently to music according to their learning styles. These were not tested.

 Music integration

There is little evidence that music integration has beneficial effects for secondary school aged children. Only two studies were found (Richardson 2009; Smolinski 2010). Both were small studies (under 100 in each arm) with samples drawn from one school. The findings therefore cannot be generalized to wider population. Participants were also not randomly selected or allocated to treatment conditions, so any effects cannot be attributed to the intervention alone. As the two treatment classes were taken by different teachers there was a possibility of teacher effect.

 Creative drama as an enrichment programme

Creative drama as an enrichment activity may have a negative effect on children’s behaviour (Danner 2003). The evidence, however, is not reliable given that there was only one study with a small sample  (n=54). The groups were not equal as the treatment pupils were volunteers. The question items used in the assessment were similar to those addressed in the intervention. It is possible that the intervention encouraged pupils to be open and frank about their intention to take drugs or alcohol, hence the negative results.

 Visual arts

Table 4 – Visual arts  (n=8)

No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact

3

2

1

Mixed impact

2

2
Positive impact suggested

3

3

 There is little evidence that visual arts have any beneficial effects on secondary school-aged children. Three studies suggested positive effects. A Turkish study suggested beneficial effects, but provided no information about the tests used nor about the results (Kalyonocu and Tepecik 2010). The second study provided no evidence that using arts-related ICT improved problem-solving skill. A large-scale longitudinal study involving 2,906 pupils was unable to show if it was participation in fine arts that contributed to higher grades or that pupils who took up fine arts were different from those who did not. It is also possible that they were more likely to be perceived as intelligent, and hence received more attention and assistance from teachers. Two reported mixed results (Alo 2009; Schultz 2011), and a further three showed no beneficial effects (Ben-Chetrit 2014; Webb 1985; third one?).

 Creative writing

Table 4: Creative writing (n=6)

  No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact

5

2

3 Mixed impact1 1 Positive impact reported    

 There is no evidence that creative writing has any beneficial effect for secondary school pupils. Only six studies were found. All the studies were rated weak. None showed any beneficial effect on academic and other outcomes. Two did not evaluate outcomes (Irvine 2003; Deegan 2010) and one showed negative effects on retention and science performance (Ayres 1993). Two suggested positive results but the findings were not substantiated by the evidence.  Bettencourt (2009), for example, found no effects but concluded that the overall data showed that the intervention had positive benefits on students and educators, and that self-reflection was beneficial to students. Rowick’s (2001) study had only 12 pupils. These represented 63% of all invited, suggesting participants were self-selected. There was no control group, so although students showed improvements in reflective writing and critical thinking, it was impossible to tell if these improvements were due to natural developmental process or reflective writing. The regular science lessons also involved asking higher order thinking questions – the effect of this could not be separated from the effect of reflective writing.

 Poetry

Table 4: Poetry (n=10)

  No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact 7

7  Mixed impact1 1 Positive impact suggested2 2

 There is no evidence that poetry has any beneficial effects on the cognitive and affective outcomes of secondary school-aged children. Of the nine studies only 3 evaluated outcomes. The rest were simply evaluations of the processes of delivery and interpretations of pupils’ behaviour and writing. One was a manual of suggested activities. Only 2 reported positive effects. One used assessments that were specific to the intervention (Ball 1979). The other study did not compare gain scores, so it was not possible to determine if the programme worked. Moreover, the study appeared to be a test of the effectiveness of using feedback and success criteria rather than the use of poetry,.

 Creative dance

Table 4: Dance (n=5)

  No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact

2 2 Mixed impact1 1 Positive impact suggested2 2

 There is no evidence that dance as a curriculum activity has any beneficial effects on adolescents’ academic and non-cognitive outcomes. Of the five studies found, only two reported positive effects; one on creative thinking (Minton 2000) and one on stress (Roberts 2010). Both were considered weak. Roberts’ study used raised body temperature as an indicator of reduced stress after dance activity. Applying the instrument immediately after physical activity like dancing may not be valid as such activity is likely to result in raised body temperature. There was no comparison group, so it was not possible to compare the effects with similar other activities. This was a very small study involving only 10 self-selected individuals.

 5.4 ARTS EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN ACROSS PHASES

Twenty-seven studies on arts education covering children across age groups were found in this review. The majority of these were about integration of multi-art forms in the curriculum (n=16), most of which were reviews of studies covering a range of arts activities.

 5.4.1 ARTS ACTIVITIES WITH POTENTIAL

Music training/playing an instrument

Table 5: Music (n=4)

  No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact

Mixed impact    Positive impact suggested4 31 (medium weak)

 There were four relevant studies on music for children across age groups. No negative studies were found. The evidence suggests that music training has positive influence on a range of outcomes.

Analysis of state standardized tests of 4,639 children (n= 1,1119 primary; n= 3,620 lower secondary) showed positive association between participation in school music programme and English attainment (Johnson and Memmott 2006). The evidence of impact was not strong. The effect was small, and possible confounding variables could not be ruled out because of the correlational design of the study.

 A meta-analysis of 19 experimental studies (Hetland 2000) provided tentative evidence that learning a musical instrument could improve students’ spatial-temporal reasoning, but there was no evidence of transference to academic achievement. The effects were short term and no effects were found for the culture-free IQ test. Most of the music activities were in group format and involved using Orff or Kodaly method of instruction. Only in 5 of the 19 studies were participants randomized to treatment conditions. Most of the studies were also small scale. Total number of cases was 701 (averaging about 47 in each study). The study also found no evidence of Hawthorne and teacher expectancy effect using studies that included control group being given an alternative treatment.

 Taken as a whole the evidence looks promising, and there is potential for large-scale randomized pilot trials comparing children given music instruction in school with children not receiving music (inside or outside school) and children given an alternative programme (this is to control for the Hawthorne effect).

MRI brain scans on 232 students aged 6 to 18 provided evidence of changes in the brain associated with visuo-spatial ability, motor coordination and emotion regulation (Hudziak et al. 2014). Again this was a correlational study comparing children of different ages and varying years of musical experience. It was not clear how much of the cortical thickening was the result of maturation (natural development of the brain) and how much was just due to musical training. The data and analyses were unable to clarify this.

 Another study found positive effect of music training on speech encoding and auditory memory (Strait et al. 2012) of 31 children aged 7-13. Although this was an interesting study, the findings are not conclusive as the two groups of children were not randomly assigned. There may be pre-existing differences between the children. For example, children who began musical training at a younger age (and thus had more years of practice) might be genetically predisposed to have more robust auditory brainstem function.

 5.4.2 ARTS ACTIVITIES WITH INCONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE OF EFFECT

Table 5: Multi-arts (n=19)

No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact 5 1 4
Mixed impact 6 4 2
Positive impact suggested 8 3 5 (medium weak)

 Combination of music and drama

19 studies relating to integration of a combination of arts activities were found for children across age groups. The majority of these studies were meta-analyses undertaken by the same authors and most were correlational (Hetland and Winner 2001; Winner and Cooper 2000; Vaughn and Winner 2000; Catterall 1998). Some also compared arts-focused schools with non-arts schools (e.g. Hetland and Winner; Vaugh and Winner 2000). In the US, high performing pupils are encouraged to take up arts classes. High performing schools are also encouraged to provide for arts classes and so were able to retain their arts programmes which the lower performing schools were unable to do. So comparing outcomes of high arts performing schools with low performing non-arts schools is not a fair comparison. Arts-focused schools may also appeal to different types of pupils. It is also possible that integrating arts in the curriculum makes learning fun and enjoyable for pupils and teachers. Further research using an experimental design is needed to test these hypotheses.

Results were mixed. In one review on multi-arts integration only 2 of the 18 studies with a strong or moderate causal design reported positive effects (Robinson 2013). Many of the studies rated as having strong causal design were small scale, had no random allocation and no control groups. There was also a possibility of conflict of interest as the author also writes and develops programmes in arts integration.

Another meta-analysis of 31 studies suggested positive effects of multi-arts experience on maths and verbal skills, but the results failed to reach statistical significance on some tests (Winner and Cooper 2000). Results from experimental studies were inconclusive. One limitation of such meta-analyses was the lack of standardisation of outcomes across the range of studies. There was also little information about the individual studies. We had little information about the kind of art forms and whether effects differed with different art forms and different age groups.

Another study of medium weak quality (Vaughn and Winner (2000) showed a strong positive correlation between arts participation and maths and verbal SAT scores. Effects on children for different age groups were not explored. It was not clear which art activities were beneficial for which age group of children. A review by Winner and Hetland (2000) found no causal links between integrated arts and reading, maths and verbal reasoning, but medium causal link between music and spatial-reasoning.

 Other large-scale correlational studies also reported positive associations between arts participation and cognitive outcomes (e.g. Catterall 1998; Burton et al. 2000). These studies compared the levels of students’ arts exposure with their academic outcomes and other wider outcomes. The positive associations, however, do not suggest causal relationships.

Five other reports showed mixed results for integrating multi-arts in school. One showed positive effects for young children but not for the older ones (Arthington 2002). There was no counterfactual so it was difficult to say if similar pupils would have made the same progress without the intervention. Reading grades were assessed by teachers which may not be consistent between teachers as demonstrated by the lack of progress between the first and second grade. The small sample (n=80) also weakens the evidence. Another study suggested that after-school fine arts programme might be effective for raising the self-esteem of disadvantaged children, but had no effects on behaviour (Rossini 2005).

 Five other studies reported no beneficial effects of integrating fine arts on academic outcomes for children across school phases. Two studies (Garcia 2000; Thomas and Arnold  2011) found no overall effects on integrating fine arts on reading and maths. Both were rated weak in evidence. There was no random allocation to groups and no baseline equivalence was established. Using post-test only design with no random allocation of subjects seriously undermine the validity of the results. In Garcia’s study comparisons were made with different cohorts of pupils. There was also a high mobility of children in and out of the school. Record of SES status of children was also not reliable due to incomplete or unreturned forms.  Thomas and Arnold compared A+ (specialist arts) schools with non-arts schools.

5.4.3 ARTS ACTIVITIES WITH NO EVIDENCE OF EFFECT

Visual arts

Table 5 – Visual arts (n= 3)

  No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact

Mixed impact2  2 (medium weak)Positive impact suggested1 1

 There is no evidence that visual arts has beneficial effects on the learning and affective outcomes for children across all age groups. Two studies suggested mixed results (Haanstra 1996; Moga et al. 2000) and one positive (Bowen 2014).  Both the large studies were meta-analyses of mainly correlational studies which could not determine causality.  Haanstra’s (1996) review of 69 studies concluded no effect of art education on visual-spatial ability, but medium effect on aesthetic appreciation. Correlational studies suggested positive relationship between arts and creativity (Moga et al. 2000), but the experimental studies showed no causal effect on verbal creativity. Positive effects were seen only in arts-related creativity and this was assessed based on subjective judgement of pupils’ drawings. One study of over 3,811 pupils from aged 8 to 18 suggested positive effects of a half-day visit to the art museum where children learnt about the themes in the museum. When tested on critical thinking skills (evaluations, observations and interpretations of a previously unseen art work), museum children outperformed control children by 9% of a standard deviation. However, it is not clear if museum children were inadvertently exposed to critical analysis of art work in their discussions at the museum. So these pupils may have received indirect instruction on critical analysis which the non-museum pupils did not. The test was also specific to the intervention. Therefore testing pupils specifically on these skills may not be a fair test. The effect was even greater (33% of standard deviation higher than non-museum children) for the younger and disadvantaged children and those living in small towns

 Dance

Table 5: Dance (n= 2)

No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact
Mixed impact 2 1 1 (medium weak)
Positive impact suggested

 There is also no evidence that dance has beneficial effects for children across all age groups. A German study showed no effect on adolescents’ (age 10 to 15) peer relationships (Zander et al. 2014). The second study showed a small overall effect, but the results were inconclusive because of the small, heterogeneous samples (Keinanen, Hetland and Winner 2000).

Drama

Table 5: Drama (n= 2)

No. of studies Not evaluated Weak Medium
No beneficial impact 1 1
Mixed impact 1 1
Positive impact suggested

 Integrating drama in the curriculum does not appear to benefit pupils’ academic outcomes. Both studies on children across age groups could not confirm the causal link. One was about the effect of drama on literacy (Kratochvil 2006). Several of the studies in the meta-analysis had design flaws: lack of comparison groups; issues with selection of comparison groups and limited number of empirical studies. There was also no clear definition of drama activities. Definition of outcome measures differed between studies. Lack of objective measurements of outcomes was another issue with the studies reviewed. The second study provided mixed results; positive effects on some measures of literacy but no effect on vocabulary development. The quality of the studies reviewed was questionable. There were no consistent measurements of outcomes resulting in widely different effect sizes reported. Weaknesses in individual studies were also not identified.  It was therefore difficult to judge the quality of the studies. 

  1. 6.  UNPROMISING ARTS ACTIVITIES

All these studies reported here have not shown enough evidence to suggest promise.

6.1 FOR PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN

Visual arts

There is no evidence that visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramic or pottery and printing) have any beneficial effect on pre-school children’s cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes. Only three studies were found. Two showed mixed effects (Borman 2009; Burger and Winner 2000) on academic achievement. The third study did not evaluate outcome but based its evidence on teachers’ views on what went well with the lessons (Hardy 2011). No positive studies were found.

 Dance

Creative dance has not been shown to have favourable effects on pre-schoolers. Only two studies were found for this age group, one did not evaluate outcome (Cheung 2010), and the second showed positive impact on social competence and behaviour (Lobo and Winsler 2006). However, it was rated weak because of the very small sample (n=40), and the evidence of impact was based on teacher and parents’ ratings of behaviour which did not concur.

Creative drama

Although CREATIVE DRAMA shows promise for pre-schoolers’ cognitive skills, there is no evidence that it is beneficial for the development of theory of mind (the Wolftrap programme by Smith 2011; Mages 2008). The two studies on the Wolftrap programme both reported negative effects on theory of mind.

Listening to music

There is no evidence that listening to music has the same effect as playing an instrument. The belief that the so-called Mozart Effect (listening to Mozart) can enhance young children’s memory has not been upheld by the evidence we have uncovered in this review. One study by Bressler (2003) randomly assigned children to listening and silent condition. Treatment children listened to Mozart being played in the background while engaged in colouring activity. Control children performed the colouring activity in silence. Pre- and post-tests of memory (recall of visual and verbal information) showed a negative effect of listening to Mozart. This study has its flaws. It involved only 24 children, and a very short exposure to the intervention. The 10-minute session is too short for real effects (if any) to be realised. [It would be interesting to test this hypothesis on a larger scale with longer term exposure.]

Another study suggested that listening to classical music had positive impact only on pre-school children’s, psycho-motor developmental skills (Thompson 2005). The evidence is weak because of the small sample drawn from one childcare centre. There was no random assignment to intervention conditions and classes were taught by different teachers. Children could be different in ability, motivation, prior musical experiences etc. The classes were also taught by different teachers – teaching quality and teacher characteristics may have influenced the results.

6.2 FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN

Creative arts

Creative arts as an extra-curricular activity have no effects on children’s academic and cognitive outcomes. One medium quality, fairly large scale study (Huizenga & Van der Wolf 1996) showed that arts as an extra-curricular activity in school had negative effects on primary school children’s reading and arithmetic (measured on standardized tests).

 School-based arts programme as a behaviour intervention does not work. One study (Wurzel 2012) reported negative effects on problem-solving behaviour.

Teaching art for aesthetic appreciation also has no effect on children’s metacognition and literary skills (Dennis 1995).

Drama

There is no evidence that creative drama has any beneficial effects on children’s non-cognitive outcomes. The 3 negative studies reported no effects on self-concept (Schaffner et al. 1984; Roberts 2007; Freeman et al. 2003) and social skills and behaviour (Freeman et al. 2003).

 Creative dance  

There no evidence that creative dance has any beneficial effects on primary school aged children. Six studies on dance were found, two showed negative effects (DiSanto-Rose 1996; Von Rossberg-Gempton), one did not evaluate the effect (Giguere 2007) and one reported effects on only some aspects of academic self-concept for girls only (Stratton-Gonzales 2008). All were rated weak in evidence. Both the positive studies had no comparison group and had very small samples (one had only 10, the other 30 participants).

Poetry

Generally there is no evidence that poetry can positively affect children’s learning. Five of the six studies reported positive effects, but four of these did not evaluate impact but inferred effects from pupils’ responses.

Creative writing

Only one study on creative writing for primary school children was found. So there is no evidence that creative writing is beneficial for this age group of children. The evidence is also weak because the assessment used spelling words that the treatment children practiced in the weekly session, but were not available to children in the other 2 groups.

6.3 FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN

Visual arts

There is little evidence that visual arts have any beneficial effects for secondary school-aged children. Three studies suggested effects, but one did not evaluate impact. Two reported mixed results, and a further three showed no beneficial effects. (Ben-Chetrit 2014; Webb 1985). Large-scale studies found no effects of visual arts on academic outcomes (Nagel, Ganzeboom, Haaanstra & Oud 1997; Ben-Chetrit 2014).

 Dance

There is no evidence that dance as a curriculum activity has any beneficial effects on adolescents’ academic and non-cognitive outcomes. Of the five studies found, only two reported positive effects; one on creative thinking and one on stress. Both were considered weak. One study showed no effects on academic and cognitive skills, and another showed no effect on self-efficacy.  A South Korean study reported positive result for creativity but not critical thinking. This was a weak study involving only 2 classes. The test of critical thinking had no parallel version so the same test was used for both pre- and post-tests. Since the interval between pre- and post-test was only 2 months, there was a possibility of practice effect. There was also the possibility of contamination as half of one class and half of the other used Form B at pre-test. This was then switched over at post-test.

Creative drama as an enrichment activity

One study (Danner 2003) showed that drama as a behaviour intervention had an adverse effect. A range of outcome measures were assessed before and after the intervention. These ranged from pupils’ intention to use drugs, intention to engage in sexual activity, self-esteem using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Inventory (RSE) and future expectation, problem. Overall, there were no changes observed with the comparison group, but significantly worse for the treatment group in several areas. In fact, pupils showed declining behavior in several area

Music

Playing background music whilst engaged in learning does not have any beneficial effects on students’ learning outcomes. One study involving 334 students Anderson & Fuller (2010) conducted a study on 334 7th and 8th grade students from 5 schools in Arizona, US. In one study (Anderson & Fuller 2010) students were exposed to 2 conditions: non-music environment and listening to music from Billboard Magazine’s (2006) top hit singles. Reading comprehension test on the Gates-MacGinitie test showed that performance declined significantly when listening to music. Those who expressed a strong preference for listening to music while studying also did particularly badly on the comprehension test. The findings of this single study alone cannot demonstrate that listening to music is detrimental. The type of music played may be a factor. Different types of music may produce different results. This was not tested. Nevertheless, there is not enough evidence to suggest that listening to background music in learning is a good thing.

Creative writing

Creative writing also does not appear to benefit secondary school aged children. Only six studies were found. Most of the studies were about creative writing as an outcome rather than as a possible influencing factor, and even then these were largely for older pupils in higher education or undergraduates. Of the few studies found none showed any beneficial effect on academic and other outcomes. Two did not evaluate outcomes, one showed negative effects on retention and science performance, and another suggested negative effect on writing.  All the studies were rated weak.

 Poetry

There is no evidence that poetry has any beneficial effects on the cognitive and affective outcomes of secondary school-aged children. Few studies were conducted in this area, and many did not evaluate outcomes. Almost all were simply evaluations of the processes of delivery and interpretations of pupils’ behaviour and writing. One was a manual of suggested activities.

6.4 FOR CHILDREN ACROSS PHASES

 Visual arts

There is little evidence to support the beneficial effects of visual arts for children across age groups. Only 3 studies were found, and all were rated weak. One tested pupils using items specific to the intervention. The other two were meta-analyses showing mixed results. The experimental studies in the meta-analyses assessed outcomes based on subjective judgements of pupils’ drawings. Arts instruction was delivered in different contexts (different types of schools, by different teachers, some were integrated some non-integrated and some delivered by specialists and some by regular classroom teachers). This varied context makes it difficult to transfer successes from controlled experiment settings to real life classroom situations which could be quite messy (with a wide range of pupils with different needs).

 Dance

The impact of school-based dance classes children across age groups is largely unevaluated. Only two studies were found for children across school phases. One large-scale German study found no effects on adolescents’ peer relationships. The findings of the second study, a metalyses of 7 studies, were inconclusive.

 Drama

Integration of creative drama in the classroom has no benefit on literacy and English language learning for children across age groups. 

  1. 7.  ARTS ACTIVITIES WITH INCONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE

In this category are interventions which have been evaluated but with mixed results. The evidence of impact is therefore inconclusive.

 7.1 FOR PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN

 Integrating music

One study observed positive changes in only 3 out of the 8 children. Assessments were based purely on observations. 3 studies reported positive effects: one on literacy and problem-solving behaviour. Two studies showed mixed results. These were all small scale, ranging from 8 to 17, the largest involved 180 pupils.

Multi-arts integration

Only one paper on multi-arts integration was found. The Kaleidoscope integrated multi arts programme appears promising, but the two studies reported in this paper were flawed in their design; one did not have a true counterfactual, and the other had only a sample of 63 but used a placebo (alternative programme) to control for the Hawthorne effect. What is impressive are the large effect sizes reported for academic outcomes (receptive vocabulary and early learning) measured using standardised tests (ES =1.7; 1.5)

Creative drama

For pre-school children creative drama may have potential but the evidence is not strong. Three studies suggest beneficial effects on reading/decoding text and story recall (Goodman 1990; Pellegrini and Galda 1982; Pellegrini 1984). They were all small scale (with fewer than 50 in each intervention group). One did not have a control group and two did not have pre- post-test comparisons, so it was not possible to say if improvement in reading skills was due to the drama activity or natural development of the children.

 7.2 FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN

 Visual arts

There is no clear evidence that integrating visual arts in the school curriculum has beneficial effects on primary school aged children. There were three positive studies and six with mixed results. The three positive studies all reported effects on cognitive outcomes (history, creative thinking and maths) and all involved integrating visual arts in the lessons.  However, all had either very small sample or unclear sample (Phillips and Bickley-Green 1998), allocated by class to treatment groups. In one study the experimental children also received additional enrichment activities which were not available to the control group (Brugar 2012). Two of the four positive studies did not have a control group (Fountain 2007; Phillips and Bickley-Green 1998), so it was not possible to say if the children would have made the same progress without the intervention.

Finnan-Jones study reported positive effects on standardised tests of maths for 194 English language learners. Children were allocated non-randomly by class (n=4). This study may be replicated using large randomised samples with proper counterfactuals and control for confounding variables.

 Luffing’s (2000) study of SPECTRA+ (a creative arts programme) showed positive effects of SPECTRA+ on overall test of creativity but not on the subtest of elaboration. Positive effects were seen in one district on maths, reading and vocabulary, but not in another district, and among boys and only for some grades. Different assessments were also used in different districts which could explain the different outcomes, and conditions were nested within schools so there is a possibility of diffusion. This was a fairly large study involving 615 children.

 Catterall and Peppler (2007) found effects of visual arts on only some measures of non-cognitive outcomes). This was also a small study involving 170 non-randomly selected and allocated children. Differences in outcomes could be due to pupil characteristics or teacher effectiveness. Another study found no effect of visual arts on standardized tests of non-verbal intelligence (Stephens 1996).

 Creative drama

The evidence for creative drama is inconclusive. Of the 12 studies 5 suggested positive effects on academic outcomes (maths, science and reading). All the negative studies showed no effects of drama on non-cognitive outcomes. In most cases creative drama is integrated in the classroom as part of an instructional strategy. Although the evidence from the individual studies is weak, the consistent positive effects on academic outcomes suggest there is potential for efficacy trials to test the effectiveness of the intervention (e.g. Rose 2000; Joseph 2014; Hendrix 2011).

Combination of arts

It is also not clear whether infusing a combination of arts into the school curriculum has any beneficial effect. The overall evidence is weak. Four studies reported positive effects (Venzen 2011; James 2011; Manning 2003; Clark 2007). Of these two had potential and were rated medium to weak (Manning 2003; Clark 2007). Eight studies showed mixed results – positive impact for some subjects, for some grades and certain types of school and children (e.g. SEN and low SES). One was rated medium to weak (Luftig 2000). One study found no beneficial effects of infusing arts on children’s maths performance (Muehlbauer 2000).

The lack of replication of independently evaluated studies makes it difficult to determine the strength of the evidence.  For example, there was only one fairly large-scale study of Arts Work for Kids, a fine arts integration programme for developing emotional intelligence. The study, which included 645 children across twelve schools, showed significant positive effects on all but one measures of emotional intelligence, particularly for dance and music (Clark 2007). However, schools were not randomised, so comparing arts-focused schools with non-arts focused schools is not a fair comparison as these schools may differ in pupil intake. There is a possibility of a pilot randomised controlled trial to test if the effects can be replicated with regular schools

7.3 FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL CHILDREN

Music training

Of the 20 studies found for this age group, 14 suggested positive effects. A large majority of these studies examined the impact of participation in music education in school (e.g. learning to play an instrument or music lessons). The evidence is inconsistent across studies. Almost all (15 out of 20) were cross-sectional studies or secondary analyses of state examination results comparing students who were enrolled in music and those who were not. Although they may show positive associations, they do not necessarily suggest causality. One study involving 29 children (Charles 2014), found no differences between pupils who participated in music (instrumental music education in school) and those who received no music instruction in school on Graduate Exit Exam. A medium study showed positive effects for the younger year group, but not for the older ones (Previti 2003). A large-scale secondary analysis of standardized test scores of 15,630 high school students in the US found no differences between students who did music at school and those who did not (Elpus 2013) after controlling for background variables. The evidence is this inconclusive.

Integrating creative drama

Integrating creative drama in the curriculum may have potential benefits on academic outcomes of secondary school children, but there is no evidence that they have beneficial effects on young people’s behaviour and social outcomes. Six out of the eight studies suggested positive effects, and five of these reported positive effects on academic outcomes, and one on empathy and theory of mind. However, they all suffer from serious design flaws in design, so the evidence of impact is less clear. Nevertheless, the strong positive effects from some of these studies is worth further exploration (e.g. Otten et al. 2004; Catterall 1999 on the Chicago Arts Education Partnership Project).

Combined arts

The evidence for integrating multi-arts in secondary school is inconclusive. Four of these reported positive effects – four on academic (historical knowledge) and non-cognitive outcomes (empathy and behaviour) and another on attitudes towards learning and enjoyment. It is not clear if enjoyment led to better academic outcomes. The evidence of all the studies is weak. One had no comparison group, one did not involve random allocation (Konrad 1999). Assessment of outcomes were also weak. The same teacher taught both the intervention and control class (Poe 2000). The other studies were all large correlational studies, which by design cannot demonstrate causality.

 7.4 FOR CHILDREN ACROSS AGE GROUPS

Music training

Integration of combination of arts shows some evidence of impact for children across age groups, but the strength of the evidence varied depending on the art forms. In general there is stronger evidence of positive effects of music and drama than visual arts. Only 5 of the 19 studies suggested no beneficial effects of integration of combination of arts activities. Most of the positive studies were meta-analyses.

 As is expected, integration of multi-arts forms makes it difficult to isolate the impact of individual art activities.

A review of 44 studies on multi-arts integration suggested that drama integration was the only art form that had the strongest evidence of positive effects on a range of academic and cognitive outcomes.  Multi-arts integration has also been shown to be beneficial for disadvantaged children’s reading and maths attainment, critical thinking and other measurements of well-being (motivation, self-efficacy and engagement).

 All the meta-analyses seemed to suggest strong positive correlation between multi-arts experience in school and academic outcomes. Positive associations were also supported by other longitudinal and correlational studies.

 The positive results from the reviews of experimental studies and the longitudinal, correlational studies together suggest that there may be promise in multi-arts forms even though individually the evidence may be weak.

Integration of music and drama

It is also not clear if integrating combined arts activities (music and drama) in the school programme can improve children’s learning and affective outcomes. The evidence is inconclusive. Most were meta-analyses. In one review only 2 studies with a causal design showed positive effects (Robinson 2013). The experimental studies with causal design all had serious design flaws: small sample size, no random allocation of participants and no counterfactual. Another medium quality study suggested positive association between arts participation and maths and verbal scores (Vaughn and Winner 2000), but a review by one of the authors (Winner and Hetland 2000) found no causal links between integrated arts and maths and verbal reasoning. Five other studies showed mixed results (e.g. Arthington 2002;Rossini 2005), and five showed no effects. The evidence is therefore inconclusive.

 8.  PROMISING ARTS ACTIVITIES

No promising interventions were found.  All the studies had at least one major flaw. However, there were some which may be worth exploring. We included these under promising arts activities

8.1 FOR PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN

Playing an instrument

There is some promise that music activity is beneficial for pre-school children. Of the 17 studies, 14 reported positive results and 4 looked promising. There is stronger evidence for playing an instrument than just listening to music. The evidence on integrating music in the curriculum produced mixed results. Three methods of learning to play an instrument have shown to have positive effects on very young children’s cognitive development: Kindermusik, Orff and the Kodaly methods. Positive effects of music training have been suggested on pre-schoolers’ spatial-temporal ability, performance IQ maths and language skills, psychomotor skills and socio-emotional development.

 One study on twins reported positive effects of music training on intelligence (Nering 2002).

 8.2 FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN

 Integrating music in the curriculum and playing an instrument hold much promise for primary school aged children. There is fairly good evidence that music has favourable effects on young children’s learning outcomes, in particular cognitive abilities, and to some extent self-esteem and social behaviour. Of the 30 studies, 20 suggested positive effects. Four of these were of medium to weak quality. Individually the evidence from these studies may be weak, but taken together the positive effects suggest there is potential in this area that is worth pursuing.

 8.3 FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN

No studies showing promise were found.

 8.4 FOR CHILDREN ACROSS AGE GROUPS

 Music training

Playing an instrument has consistently been shown to have some supporting evidence of beneficial effects on cognitive development for children across the age groups (from primary to secondary). One study (Strait et al. 2012) showed that early music training can enhance neural encoding of speech-in-noise. The evidence, however, was weak. As the two groups of children were not randomly assigned, the effects could be attributed to the pre-existing differences rather than solely due to music training. One way of testing this is to randomly assign children who had no exposure to music when they are young and then expose one group to music and one group to non-music to see if music exposure makes any difference.

 MRI scans of children aged 6-18 also showed positive correlation between playing a musical instrument and cortical thickness which is related to motor coordination, visuo-spatial ability and emotion regulation. The correlational study is unable to demonstrate if cortical thickening was the result of age (natural development of the brain) or music training.

A review of experimental studies (Hetland 2000) for children aged 3 to 12 showed positive effects of participation of music on spatial-temporal reasoning. Most of the music activities were in group format and involved learning a musical instrument using Orff or Kodaly method of instruction. However, only in 5 of the 19 studies were participants randomized to treatment conditions. Most of the studies were also small scale.

 Taken as a whole the evidence looks promising, and there is potential for large-scale randomized pilot trials comparing children given music instruction in school with children not receiving music (inside or outside school) and children given an alternative programme (to control for the Hawthorne effect).

Policy and practice in arts education

ABRSM (2014) Making music: Teaching, learning and playing in the UK. London: ABRSM.

Baldwin, P. (2012) In defence of school drama: Don’t let arts fall off the curriculum. The Guardian, 30 October 2012. http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2012/oct/30/defence-school-drama-arts-curriculum-ebacc

Baldwin, P. (2013) Drama is a subject despite what the government thinks. The Guardian, 7 January 2013. http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/jan/07/drama-subject-government-education.

Cultural Learning Alliance (2013) The new national curriculum: a quick guide. Cultural Learning Alliance news, 13 September 2013. http://www.culturallearningalliance.org.uk/news.aspx?id=115.

DfE (2011) The importance of music: The national plan for music education. DFE-00086-2011. London: Department for Education.

DfE (2013) National curriculum in England: Art and design programmes of study. London: Department for Education. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-art-and-design-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-art-and-design-programmes-of-study.

Doran, F. (2011) MPs defend dance teaching in schools. BBC Democracy Live. Tuesday 11 October 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_commons/newsid_9609000/9609906.stm

Downing, D. and Watson, R. (2004) School art: What’s in it? Exploring visual arts in secondary schools. Slough: NFER.

Earle, W. (2013) The importance of teaching the arts. Spiked, 20 August 2013. http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the_importance_of_teaching_the_arts/13937#.VNjEemdybIV.

Fort, S. (2013)More dancing. Arts Professional, a news magazine for arts professionals, 16 September 2013. http://www.artsprofessional.co.uk/magazine/267/article/more-dancing.

Greevy, H. Knox, A., Nunney, F. and Pye, J. (2013) Revised: The effects of the English Baccalaureate. Research Report DFE-RR249R. London: Department for Education.

Hallam, S., Creech, A. and McQueen, H. (2011) Musical Futures: A case study investigation. Institute of Education, London: University of London

Hale, C. (2002) More dance in schools? London Dance.com. 7 April 2006. http://londondance.com/articles/news/more-dance-in-schools/

Henley, D. (2011) Music education in England: A review for the Department of Education and the Department for Culture, Music and Sport. London: Department for Education

Henley, D. (2012) Cultural education in England: An independent review for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Education. London: Department for Education.

Jasper, L. (2012) Changes to schools and the curriculum in England impacting on dance. London: Dance UK.

Jobbins, V. (2005) Entitled to dance: Boys in schools. People Dancing , e-newsletter about dance. http://www.communitydance.org.uk/DB/animated-library/entitled-to-dance-boys-in-schools.html?ed=14055.

Muldoon, J. and Inchley, J. (2008) The YDance ‘Dance-in-Schools Initiative’ DISI: Final evaluation report. Edinburgh: Child and Adolescent Health Research Unit.

Ofsted (2012a) Music in schools: Sound partnerships. London: The Office for Standards in Education.

Ofsted (2012b) Ofsted reports about art and materials for schools. The National Archives. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20141124154759/http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/our-expert-knowledge/art.

Ofsted (2013) Music in schools: What hubs must do. London: The Office for Standards in Education.

Robinson, K. (2014) Cha-cha-change the balance in schools. tesconnect, 8 August 2014. Available on: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6439343.

Schnapp, J.T. (2009) Art in schools inspires tomorrow’s creative thinkers. Edutopia, 28 January 2009. http://www.edutopia.org/arts-role-creative-thinking.

Severs, J. (2014) Rapid irreversible damage has been recklessly inflicted on drama in schools. tesconnect, !7 May 2014. https://news.tes.co.uk/b/tes-professional/2014/05/14/39-rapid-irreversible-damage-has-been-recklessly-inflicted-on-drama-in-schools-39-says-former-ofsted-inspector.aspx.

Woolman, N. (2011) Dance provision in schools must match music. The Stage, a weekly publication serving the performing arts industry in UK. November 2011.

Youth Sport Trust (2006-2007) Audit of dance provision in English schools 2006/2007: Final report. Loughborough: Youth Sport Trust, Loughborough University.

Zakaras, L. and Lowell, J. (2008 ) Cultivating demands for the arts: Arts learnin http://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/audience-development-for-the-arts/key-research/Documents/Arts-Learning-and-Arts-Engagement.pdfg, arts engagement and state arts policy. Santa Monica: Rand Corporation.

Zerserson, K. (2014) Inspiring music for all. London: Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

 Visual arts

 Alo, T. (2009) The effect of visual arts education on at-risk students’ critical thinking skills and the Maryland English II High School Assessment. Unpublished PhD thesis. Maryland: College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

 Ben-Chetrit, L. (2014) The Effect of High School Arts Classes on Exit Exam Scores in Measurement and Geometry. Unpublished EdD thesis. Minneapolis: Walden University.

Borman, G. D., Goetz, M.E. and Dowling, N.M. (2009) Halting the summer achievement slide: A randomized field trial of the kindergARTen Summer Camp. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 14(2): 133-147.

 Bowen, D. H., Greene, J.P. Kisida, B. (2014) Learning to Think Critically: A Visual Art Experiment.Educational Researcher, 43(1): 37-44.

 Brugar, K. A. (2012) What difference does curricular integration make? An inquiry of fifth graders’ learning of history through the use of literacy and visual arts skills. Unpublished PhD thesis. Michigan: Michigan State University.

Burger, K. and Winner, E. (2000) Instruction in visual art: can it help children learn to read?” Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34(3/4): 277-293.

Campbell, E. F. (1988) The effects of a method of art instruction on the visual perception ability of kindergarten children. Unpublished EdD thesis. New York: Columbia University.

Catterall, J. S. and Peppler, K.A. (2007) Learning in the visual arts and the worldviews of young children. Cambridge Journal of Education, 37(4): 543-560.

Dennis, F. C. (1995) Aesthetic perception, metacognition and transfer: Thinking in the visual arts. Unpublished EdD thesis. Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles.

Finnan-Jones, R. (2008) The impact of visual art instruction on the mathematics achievement of english language learners. Unpublished EdD thesis. New York: St John’s University.

Fountain, H.L.R. (2007) Using art to differentiate instruction: An analysis of its effect on creativity and the learning environment. Unpublished PhD thesis. West Lafeyette: Purdue University.

Gabhainn, S.N., Mullaly, M., Donovan, D. and Sammon, P. (2001) Community arts in schools: Effects on self-esteem and attainments in primary school children. The Irish Journal of Psychology,22(3-4): 269-276

Haanstra, F. (2000) Dutch studies of the effects of arts education programs on school success.” Studies in Art Education, 42(1): 20-35.

Haanstra, F.H. (1996) Effects of art education on visual-spatial ability and aesthetic perception: a quantitative review. Studies in Art Education, 37: 197-209.

Hardy, W.L. (2011) Arts in Early Childhood Education and the Enhancement of Learning. Unpublished EdD thesis. Minneapolis: Walden University.

Kalyoncu, R. and Tepecık, A. (2010) An application of project-based learning in an urban project topic in the visual arts course in 8th classes of primary education. Kuram ve Uygulamada Eğitim Bilimleri, 10(4): 2409-2430.

Krilov, L. (2008) The impact of art augmented geometry instruction. Ann Arbor, Wilmington University (Delaware). 3292901: 176.

Liem, G.A.D., Martin, A.J., Anderson, M. Gibson, R., Sudmalis, D. (2014) The Role of Arts-Related Information and Communication Technology Use in Problem Solving and Achievement: Findings From the Programme for International Student Assessment. Journal of Educational Psychology,106(2): 348-363.

Moga, E., Burger, K., Hetland, L. and Winner, E. (2000) Does studying the arts engender creative thinking? Evidence for near but not far transfer. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34 (3): 91-104.

Phillips, P. and Bickley-Green, C. (1998) Integrating art and mathematics. Principal, 77: 46-49.

Schultz, K.A. (2011) Reciprocal Cognitive Transfer Between High School Students’ Artistic interpretation Skills and their Reading Interpretation Skills. Unpublished EdD thesis. Minneapolis: Walden University.

Stephens, P.K.G. (1996) Discipline-based art education as the structural support of a language arts intervention program: Documentation of cognitive changes in certain elementary-age students. Unpublished PhD thesis. Denton: University of North Texas.

Webb, N.R. (1985) Right brain drawing instruction: its effect on the drawing skills and verbal fluencies of sixth-grade students (cerebral asymmetry, learning styles, lateralization, imagery). Unpublished PhD thesis. Columbia: University of South Carolina.

Wurzel, J. (2012) Learning to cope with stress through art: An evaluation of a school-based creative arts primary prevention program for children in elementary school. New York: Fordham University

 Music

Albright, R.E. (2012) The Impact of Music on Student Achievement in the Third and Fifth Grade Math Curriculum. 3492175 Ed.D.thesis. Prescott Valley, AZ: Northcentral University.

An, S. (2013) The effects of music-mathematics integrated curriculum and instruction on elementary students’ mathematics achievement and dispositions. Unpublished PhD thesis. Texas, US: Texas A&M University.

 Anderson, S.A. and Fuller, G.B. (2010) Effect of music on reading comprehension of junior high school students. School Psychology Quarterly, 25(3): 178-187.

Arthington, C.A. (2002). Celebrating the arts: A bridge to the emotional brain. PhD thesis. Brattleboro, VT: The Union Institute.

Bressler, R.A. (2003) Music and cognitive abilities: A look at the Mozart Effect. Unpublished PhD thesis. Chicago, US: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Bryant, K.G. (2013) Effect of music-integrated instruction on first graders’ reading fluency. Unpublished EdD thesis. Virginia: Liberty University.

Burton, J.M., Horowitz, R. and Abeles, H. (2000) Learning in and through the arts: the question of transfer. Studies in Art Education, 42(3): 228-257.

Cabanac, A., Perlovsky, L., Bonniot-Cabanac, M.C. and Cabanac, M. (2013) Music and academic performance. Behavioural Brain Research, 256: 257-260.

Catterall, J. (1998) Involvement in the arts and success in secondary school. Americans for the Arts Monographs, 1 (9), Washington, D.C.

Charles, J.L. (2014) Evaluating the effects of tenth grade students’ music ensemble participation in relationship to the graduation exit examinations mathematics and reading scores. Unpublished PhD thesis. Minneapolis :Capella University.

Chase, R.V. (2012) Impact of Music Instruction on Social-Emotional Competence. Unpublished PhD thesis. Chicago, US: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Cochran, K.H. (2009) The effects of singing and chanting on the reading achievement and attitudes of first graders. Unpublished PhD thesis. South Carolina: Clemson University.

Costa-Giomi, E. (1999) The effects of three years of piano instruction on children’s cognitive development. Journal of Research in Music Education, 47(3): 198-212.

Courey, S., Balogh, E., Siker, J. and Paik, J. (2012) Academic music: music instruction to engage third-grade students in learning basic fraction concepts. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 81(2): 251-278.

Deere, K.B. (2010) The impact of music education on academic achievement in reading and math. 3425720. Unpublished EdD thesis. Jackson, Tennessee: Union University.

Degé, F., Wehrum, S., Stark, R. and Schwarzer, G. (2011) The influence of two years of school music training in secondary school on visual and auditory memory. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 8(5): 608-623.

Degé, F., Wehrum, S., Stark, R. and Schwarzer, G. (2014) Music lessons and academic self-concept in 12- to 14-year-old children. Musicae Scientiae, 18(2): 203-215

Duncan, D.J. (2007) The relationship between creativity and the Kindermusik experience. Unpublished Master of Science thesis. Missouri: University of Central Missouri.

Elpus, K. (2013) Is It the Music or Is It Selection Bias? A Nationwide Analysis of Music and Non-Music Students’ SAT Scores. Journal of Research in Music Education, 61(2): 175-194.

Fisher, D. (2001) Early language learning with and without music. Reading Horizons, 42(1): 39-49.

Fitzpatrick, K.R. (2006) The Effect of Instrumental Music Participation and Socioeconomic Status on Ohio Fourth-, Sixth-, and Ninth-Grade Proficiency Test Performance. Journal of Research in Music Education, 54(1): 73-84.

François, C., Chobert, J., Besson, M. and Schön, D. (2013) Music training for the development of speech segmentation. Cerebral Cortex, 23(9): 2038-2043.

Gromko, J.E., & Poorman, A.S. (1998) The effect of music training on preschoolers’ spatial-temporal task performance. Journal of Research in Music Education, 46(2): 173-181

Harris, M. (2008) The Effects of Music Instruction on Learning in the Montessori Classroom. Montessori Life, 20(3): 24-31.

Harris, D.J. (2011) Shake, rattle and roll – can music be used by parents and practitioners to support communication, language and literacy within a pre-school setting? Education 3-13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education, 39(2): 139-151

Hetland, L. (2000) The relationship between music and spatial processes: A meta-analysis. Unpublished EdD thesis. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.

Hetland, L. and  Winner, E. (2001) The arts and academic achievement: what the evidence shows. Reviewing Education and the Arts Project; executive summary, 102(5): 3-6.

Horton, R.W. (2012) Differences in academic achievement among Texas high school students as a function of music enrollment. Unpublished EdD thesis. Texas: Sam Houston State University.

Hudziak, J.J., Albaugh, M.D., Ducharme, S., Karama, S., Spottswood, M., Crehan, E. and Botteron, K.N. (2014) Cortical thickness maturation and duration of music training: Health-promoting activities shape brain development. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 53(11): 1153-1161.

Johnson, C.M. and Memmott, J.E. (2006) Examination of Relationships between Participation in School Music Programs of Differing Quality and Standardized Test Results. Journal of Research in Music Education, 54(4): 293-307.

Kaviani, H., Mirbaha, H., Pournaseh, M. and Sagan, O. (2014) Can music lessons increase the performance of preschool children in IQ tests? Cognitive Processing, 15(1): 77-84.

Kurt, J.T. (2011) Factors affecting literacy achievement of eighth grade middle school instrumental music students. Unpublished EdD thesis. Nebraska: The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska.

Lyons, L.M. (2009) The integration of music with reading concepts to improve academic scores of elementary students. Unpublished PhD thesis. Colorado: Colorado State University.

Molnar, W. (2013) Effect of Music Education on Reading Scores of Primary Inner-City Students. Unpublished PhD thesis.  Minneapolis: Walden University.

Moreno, S., Marques, C., Santos, A., Santos, M., Castro, S. L. and Besson, M. (2009) Musical training influences linguistic abilities in 8-year-old children: More evidence for brain plasticity. Cerebral Cortex, 19(3): 712-723.

Myant, M., Armstrong, W. and Healy, N. (2008) Can music make a difference? A small scale longitudinal study into the effects of music instruction in nursery on later reading ability. Educational and Child Psychology, 25(3): 83-100.

Nering, M.E. (2002) The effect of piano and music instruction on intelligence of monozygotic twins. Unpublished PhD thesis. Honolulu: University of Hawaii.

Olson, C.A. (2010) Music Training Causes Changes in the Brain. Teaching Music, 17(6): 22-22

Peters, B. (2011) A Formative Study of Rhythm and Pattern: Semiotic Potential of Multimodal Experiences for Early Years Readers. Unpublished PhD thesis.  Manitoba: University of Manitoba (Canada).

Piro, J.M. and Ortiz, C. (2009) The effect of piano lessons on the vocabulary and verbal sequencing skills of primary grade students. Psychology of Music, 37(3): 325-347.

Previti, R.A. (2003) The effects of musical keyboarding instruction on the self-efficacy scores of middle school students as measured on the Multiple Intelligence Developmental Assessment Scales. Unpublished EdD thesis. Pensylvania: Widener University.

Register, D., Darrow, A. and Standley, J. (2007) The Use of Music to Enhance Reading Skills of Second Grade Students and Students with Reading Disabilities. Journal of Music Therapy, 44(1): 23-37.

Richardson, R.C. (2009) Expanding geographic understanding in grade 8 social studies classes through integration of geography, music, and history: A quasi-experimental study. Unpublished EdD thesis. Los Angeles: University of California.

Robinson, A.H. (2013) Arts integration and the success of disadvantaged students: A research evaluation. Arts Education Policy Review, 114(4): 191-204.

Roden, I., Grube, D., Bongard, S. and Kreutz, G. (2014) Does music training enhance working memory performance? Findings from a quasi-experimental longitudinal study. Psychology of Music, 42(2): 284-298

Rodgers, L.M. (1999) The effects and perceptions of early musical training on high school students. Unpublished EdD thesis. Malibu, California: Pepperdine University.

Rossini, M.D. (2005) An investigation of the psychosocial and behavior changes experienced by children participating in the Gallery 37 Connections art program. PhD thesis. Chicago: Loyola University.

Schlaug, G., Norton, A., Overy, K. and Winner, E. (2005) Effects of Music Training on the Child’s Brain and Cognitive Development. In G. Avanzini, L. Lopez, S. Koelsch & M. Manjno (Eds.), The neurosciences and music II: From perception to performance. (pp. 219-230). New York, US: New York Academy of Sciences.

Schellenberg, G. (2004) Music lessons enhance IQ. Psychological Science, 15(8): 511-514

Smolinski, K. (2010) Original science-based music and student learning. Unpublished EdD thesis. Minneapolis: Walden University.

Strait, D. L., Parbery-Clark, A., Hittner, E. and Kraus, N. (2012) Musical training during early childhood enhances the neural encoding of speech in noise. Brain and Language, 123(3): 191-201.

Thompson, D.J. (2005) The impact of classical music on the developmental skills of preschool children. Unpublished PhD thesis. Mississipi: Mississippi State University.

Van der Vossen, M.R. (2013) Mathematics achievement among secondary students in relation to enrollment/nonenrollment in music programs of differing content or quality. Unpublished PhD thesis. Maryland: Maryland University.

Vaughn, K. and Winner, E. (2000) SAT scores of students who study the arts: What we can and cannot conclude about the association. The Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34(3-4): 77-8

Wade, C.E. (2011) Exploring the development of mathematics patterning skills and concepts in young children who experience integrated music and math lessons. Unpublished EdD thesis. Texas: University of Houston.

Waller, G.D. (2007) The impact of music education on academic achievement, attendance rate, and student conduct on the 2006 senior class in one southeast Virginia public school division. Unpublished PhD thesis.  Virginia: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Walton, J.P. (2013) The Effect of Music on the Reading Achievement of Grade 1 Students. Unpublished EdD thesis.  Colorado: Jones International University.

Wellman, R.L. (2007) Music as a pre-reading education tool for non-music preschool teachers. Unpublished PhD thesis. Minneapolis: Capella University.

Root Wilson, K.A. (2009). The effect of music education on early adolescents’ adaptive skills, health-enhancing behaviors, and self-efficacy. PhD thesis. Greeley, CO: University of Northern Colorado.

Winner, E. and Cooper, M. (2000) Mute those claims: no evidence (yet) for a causal link between arts and academic achievement. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34(3-4): 11-75.

Winner, E. and Hetland, L. (2000) The arts in education: evaluating the evidence for a causal link. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34(3/4): 3-10. (US

Drama

Arieli, B. (2007) The integration of creative drama into science teaching. Unpublished PhD thesis. Manhattan: Kansas State University.

Cormack, R. (2004) Creative drama in the writing process: The impact on elementary students’ short stories. Unpublished MEd dissertation. Prince George: University of Northern British Columbia (Canada).

Danner, S.A. (2003) Prevention through performance: A creative drama enrichment program for arts school students. Unpublished PhD thesis. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University.

Daykin, N., Orme, J., Evans, D., Salmon, D., McEachran, M. and Brain, S. (2008) The impact of participation in performing arts on adolescent health and behaviour: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Health Psychology, 13 (2). pp. 251-264.

Duatepe-Paksu, A. and Ubuz, B. (2009) Effects of Drama-Based Geometry Instruction on Student Achievement, Attitudes, and Thinking Levels. Journal of Educational Research, 102(4): 272-286.

DuPont, S. (1992) The effectiveness of creative drama as an instructional strategy to enhance reading comprehension skills of fifth grade remedial readers. Reading Research and Instruction, 3 (31), 41-52.

Fizzano, W.J. Jr. (1999) The impact of story drama on the reading comprehension, oral language complexity, and the attitudes of third graders. EdD thesis. New Brunswick: Rutgers The State University of New Jersey.

Freeman, G.D., Sullivan, K. and Fulton, C.R. (2003) Effects of creative drama on self-concept, social skills and problem behaviour. The Journal of Educational Research, 96(3): 131-138.

Goldstein, T.R. (2010) The effects of acting training on theory of mind, empathy, and emotion regulation. PhD thesis. Boston, Massachusetts: Boston College

Goodman, J.R. (1990) A naturalistic study of the relationship between literacy development and dramatic play in five-year old children. Unpublished EdD dissertation. Nashville, TN: George Peabody College for Teachers, Vanderbilt University.

Hendrix, R.C. (2011) Using Creative Dramatics to Foster Conceptual Learning in a Science Enrichment Program. PhD thesis. Alabama: Auburn University

Hetland, L. (2000) The relationship between music and spatial processes: A meta-analysis. EdD thesis. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University.

Joseph, A. (2014) The Effects of Creative Dramatics on Vocabulary Achievement of Fourth Grade Students in a Language Arts Classroom: An Empirical Study. EdD thesis. Washington: Seattle Pacific University.

Kratochvil, K.R. (2006) The impact of Educational Drama on the advancement of English language learning.  MA dissertaton. San Jose, California: San Jose State University.

Laurin, S. (2010) The Effect of Story Drama on Children’s Writing Skills. Masters’ dissertation. Montreal, QC: Concordia University (Canada)

Mages, W.K. (2008) Language and theory of mind development in the context of a Head Start theatre-in-education program. EdD thesis. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University

Otten, M., Stigler, J.M. Wooward, J.A. and Lisle, S. (2004) Performing history: The effects of a dramatic art-based history program on student achievement and enjoyment. Theory and Research in Social Education, 32(2): 187-212.

Parks, M. and Rose, D. (1997) The impact of Whirlwind’s Reading Comprehension through Drama program on 4th grade students’ reading skills and standardized test scores. Unpublished Evaluation, 3D Group, Berkeley, CA 25.

Pellegrini, A. and Galda, L. (1982) The effects of thematic-fantasy play training on the development of children’s story comprehension. American Educational Research Journal, 19(3): 443-452.

Pellegrini, A. (1984) Identifying causal elements in the thematic-fantasy play paradigm. American Educational Research Journal, 21(3): 691-701.

Podiozny, A. (2000) Strengthening verbal skills through the use of classroom drama: a clear link. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34(3-4): 239-276.

Poulsen, J.C.S. (1998) Efficacy of drama-based teaching on children with learning disabilities. PhD thesis. Calgary, Alberta: University of Calgary (Canada).

 Roberts, K.J. (2007) Participation in musical theater as a vehicle for understanding of interdisciplinary work in the arts, improvement of self-concept, and music achievement among fifth-grade students. PhD thesis. Illinois: North Western University.

Rose, D.S., Parks, M. and Androes, K. (2000) Imagery-based learning: improving elementary students’ reading comprehension with drama techniques. Journal of Educational Research, 94(1): 55-63.

Schaffner, M., Little, G. and Felton, H. (1984) Nadie Papers No.1, Drama, language and learning: reports of the drama and language research project, speech, drama centre. Tasmania: Education Department of Tasmania. National Association for Drama in Education. Education Department of Tasmania.

Smith, H. (2011) The effects of a drama-based language intervention on the development of theory of mind and executive function in urban kindergarten children. PhD thesis. Atlanta, GA: Georgia State University

Dance 

Bridley, A. S. (2014) The impact of a dance aerobics program on middle school girls’ physical activity level, self-efficacy, and decisional balance. PhD thesis. Hattiesburg, MS: University of Southern Mississippi.

Cheung, R.H.P. (2010) Designing movement activities to develop children’s creativity in early childhood education. Early Child Development and Care, 180(3): 377-385.

 DiSanto-Rose, M. (1986) Effect of creative dance classes on the learning of spatial concepts and the ability to analyze spatial pathways in dance video by third and fourth grade students. EdD thesis. Philadelphia:Temple University.

 Giguere, M. (2007) The mind in motion: An examination of children’s cognition within the creative process in dance. PhD thesis. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University.

Keinanen, M. Hetland, L. and Winner, E. (2000) Teaching cognitive skill through dance: evidence for near but not far transfer. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34 (3-4): 295-306.

Kim, J. (1998) The effects of creative dance instruction on creative and critical thinking of seventh-grade female students in Seoul, Korea. EdD thesis. New York: New York University.

Lanfredi, C.S. (2013) Formal dance training, cognitive ability, and academic performance of adolescent females. PhD thesis. New York: Fordham University.

Lobo, Y.B. and Winsler, A. (2006) The Effects of a Creative Dance and Movement Program on the Social Competence of Head Start Preschoolers. Social Development,15(3): 501-519.

Minton, S. (2000) Assessment of high school students’ creative thinking skills: a comparison of the effects of dance and non-dance classes. Research in Dance Education, 4(1): 31-49.

Riley, A. (1984) The interrelationships and effects of creative dance on the physical self-esteem, body image and problem solving of grade four children. EdD thesis. Toronto: University of Toronto (Canada).

Roberts, T.M. (2010) The experience of dance class: Exploring multiple intelligences instruction on student academic stress. PhD thesis. Minneapolis: Capella University.

Rose, D. (1999) The impact of Whirlwind’s Basic Reading Through Dance program on first grade students’ basic reading skills: Study II. Unpublished evaluation study. 3-D Group, Berkeley, California

Stratton-Gonzalez, S. (2008) The impact of participation in the Creative Dance Clubs on the social, personal, and cognitive growth of fourth and fifth grade students at PS 722. Masters dissertation. New York: University of New York Empire State College.

von Rossberg-Gempton, I.E. (1998) Creative dance: Potentiality for enhancing psychomotor, cognitive, and social-affective functioning in seniors and young children. PhD thesis. British Columbia, Vancouver: Simon Fraser University (Canada).

Zander, L., Kreutzmann, M., West, S.G., Mettke, E. and Hannover, B. (2014) How school-based dancing classes change affective and collaborative networks of adolescents. Psychology of Sport and Exercise,15(4): 418-42 

Combined arts

Arthington, C.A. (2002). Celebrating the arts: A bridge to the emotional brain. PhD thesis. Brattleboro, VT: The Union Institute.

 Baum, S.M. and Owen, S.V. (1997) Using art processes to enhance academic self-regulation. Paper presented at ArtsConnection National Symposium on learning and the arts: new strategies for promoting student success, New York, February 22, 1997.

Boyes, L.C. and Reid, I. (2005) What are the benefits for pupils participating in arts activities? The view from the research literature. Research in Education, (73): 1-14.

 Brown, E.D., Benedict, B. and Armistead, M.E. (2010) Arts enrichment and school readiness for children at risk. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25(1): 112-124.

 Burton, J.M., Horowitz, R. and Abeles, H. (2000) Learning in and through the arts: the question of transfer. Studies in Art Education, 42(3): 228-257.

 Catterall, J. (1998) Involvement in the arts and success in secondary school. Americans for the Arts Monographs, 1 (9), Washington, D.C.

Catterall, J.S., Chapleau, R. and Iwanage, J. (1999) Involvement in the arts and human development: General involvement and intensive involvement in music and theater arts. The Imagination Project at UCLA.  Los Angeles: Graduate School of Education & Information Studies.

Catterall, J. and Waldorf, L. (1999) Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE): Evaluation summary. In Friske, E. (1999) Champions of change: The impact of the arts on learning. The Arts Partnership and The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. : Washington, D.C.: Arts Education Partnership.

Catterall, J.S., Dumais, S.A. and Hampden-Thompson, G. (2012) The arts and achievement in at-risk youth: findings from longitudinal studies. Research Report #55. Washington: National Endowment for the arts.

Clark, S.J. (2007) The relationship between fine arts participation and the

emotional intelligence of fifth-grade elementary students. PhD thesis. Athens, GA: University of Georgia

DeMoss, K. and Morris, T. (2002) How arts integration supports student learning: students shed light on the connections. Chicago: Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE)

Ffolkes-Bryant, B. (2010) Investigating the effect on student attitudes, motivation and self-esteem in performing arts elementary schools incorporating arts integration. EdD thesis. New York: St John’s University.

 Garcia, C.M. (2010) Comparing state mandated test scores for students in programs with and without fine arts in the curriculum. EdD thesis. Minneapolis: Walden University.

 Harland, J., Kinder, K., Lord, P., Alison, S., Schagen, I., Haynes, J. with Cusorth, L. White, R. and Paola, R. (2000) Arts education in secondary schools: Effects and effectiveness. National The Mere, Upton Park, Slough, Berkshire:.Foundation for Educational Research (NFER).

Hetland, L. and  Winner, E. (2001) The arts and academic achievement: what the evidence shows. Reviewing Education and the Arts Project; executive summary, 102(5): 3-6.

James, C.Y. (2011) Does arts infused instruction make a difference? An exploratory study of the effects of an arts infused instructional approach on engagement and achievement of third, fourth, and fifth grade students in mathematics. PhD thesis. Washington: American University.

Kinney, D.W. and Forsythe, J.L. (2005) The Effects of the Arts IMPACT Curriculum Upon Student Performance on the Ohio Fourth-Grade Proficiency Test. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, (164): 35-48.

 Konrad, R.R. (1999) Empathy, art, and the social studies: The effect of an

empathy based, arts enriched, United States history curriculum on middle school students. PhD thesis. Los Angeles: University of California.

 Kranz, R. (2003) Arts across the Curriculum. Creative Classroom, 17(5): 40-44.

Luftig, R. L. (2000) An investigation of an arts infusion program on

creative thinking, academic achievement, affective functioning, and arts appreciation of children at three grade levels. Studies in Art Education, 41(3): 208-227.

Manning, E.F. (2003) The effects of instruction utilizing the arts on the academic achievement of fourth-grade students. Unpublished dissertation. Rushton, RA: Louisiana Tech University.

Martin, A.J., Mansour, M., Anderson, M. Gibson. R., Liem, G.A.G. and Sudmalis, D. (2013) The role of arts participation in students’ academic and nonacademic outcomes: A longitudinal study of school, home, and community factors. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(3): 709-727.

Matthews, J.L. (2001) Impact of fine arts integration on third, fourth, and fifth graders’ reading achievement in an urban magnet school. EdD thesis. Stillwater, OK: Oklahoma State University.

Muehlbauer, C.F. (2000) The effects of an arts-infused, multiple intelligences program on mathematical achievement. Unpublished dissertation. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University.

Nelson, C.A. (2002) The Arts and Education Reform: Lessons from a Four-Year Evaluation of the A+ Schools Program, 1995-1999.” Executive Summary. In R. Deasy (Ed.), Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Achievement and Social Development, Washington, DC: AEP.

Omniewski, R. (1999) The effects of an arts infusion approach on the mathematics chievement of a second-grade student. PhD thesis, Austin: The University of Texas.

Peppler, K.A., Powell, C.W., Thompson, N. and Catterall, J. (2014) Positive impact of arts integration on student academic achievement in English language arts. Educational Forum,78(4): 364-377.

Poe, R.M. (2000) Celebrate the joy: Pleasurable engagement in learning through the infusing of the arts into a sixth-grade classroom. EdD thesis. Santa Barabara, CA: The Fielding Institute.

Robinson, A.H. (2013) Arts integration and the success of disadvantaged students: A research evaluation. Arts Education Policy Review, 114(4): 191-204.

Rossini, M.D. (2005) An investigation of the psychosocial and behavior changes experienced by children participating in the Gallery 37 Connections art program. PhD thesis. Chicago: Loyola University.

Smithrim, K. and Upitis, R. (2005). Learning through the Arts: Lessons of engagement. Canadian Journal of Education,28(1/2): 109-127.

Thomas, R. and Arnold, A. (2011) The A+ Schools: A New Look at Curriculum Integration. Visual Arts Research, 37(72): 96-104.

Van Nuys, E.R. (1988) The influence of artistic training on selected cognitive abilities: “Learning to Read Through the Arts Program” of the Guggenheim Museum. New Brunswick:  Rutgers The State University of New Jersey

Vaughn, K. and Winner, E. (2000) SAT scores of students who study the arts: What we can and cannot conclude about the association. The Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34(3-4): 77-89

Venzen, C. (2011) Effects of an integrated arts curriculum on fifth grade students’ mathematics test scores. PhD thesis. Minneapolis: Capella University.

Winner, E. and Cooper, M. (2000) Mute those claims: no evidence (yet) for a causal link between arts and academic achievement. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34(3-4): 11-75.

Winner, E. and Hetland, L. (2000) The arts in education: evaluating the evidence for a causal link. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34(3/4): 3-10. (US)

Yorke-Viney, S.A. (2007) An examination of the effectiveness of arts integration in education on student achievement, creativity, and self perception. PhD thesis. Scranton, PA: Marywood University.

 Creative writing

Ayers, W.E. (1993) A study of the effectiveness of expressive writing as a learning enhancement in middle school science. Unpublished dissertation. Philadelphia, PA:Temple University.

Bettencourt, C.L. (2009). Promoting social change through writing: A quantitative study of research-based best practices in eighth-grade mathematics. EdD thesis. Minneapolis: Walden University 

Deegan, A. (2010) Creative confidence: Self-efficacy and creative writing in an out-of-school time program and beyond. EdD thesis. Long Beach: California State University.

Irvine, M. (2003) Freedom of expression in creative writing: Scope and limits for secondary school students. MA dissertation. British Columbia, Vancouver: Simon Fraser University (Canada).

Kliewer, W., Lepore, S.J., Farrell, A.D., Allison, K.W., Meyer, A.L., Sullivan E.N. and Greene, A.Y. (2011) A school-based expressive writing intervention for at-risk urban adolescents’ aggressive behavior and emotional ability. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 40(5): 693-705.

 Rowicki, M.A. (2001) A study of the relationship between reflective writing and critical thinking in seventh grade integrated science students. EdD thesis. Alabama: Auburn University.

Simle, M.A.P. (1993) The effects of guided and unguided creative writing activities on spelling achievement in fifth-grade. PhD thesis. Minnesota: University of Minnesota

Poetry

Ball, E.R. (1979) An investigation into the effects of a specifically designed introductory poetry unit on the cognitive gains and affective responses of ninth grade students. Unpublished dissertation. Greensboro: The University of North Carolina.

Bianchi, L.L. (1999). Finding a voice: Poetry and performance with first graders. PhD thesis. Durham, NH: University of New Hampshire. 

Carter-Pounds, A.A. (1996) Teaching reading through poetry using a sports format: An evaluation. PhD thesis. Charlottesville: University of Virginia.

Crozer, K.J. (2014) American poetry and a paradigm of play: Transforming literature with young children. PhD thesis. Claremont, CA: The Claremont Graduate University

Fiore, M.E. (2012) Time for a Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: Spoken Word Poetry in Urban Schools. PhD thesis. New Jersey: Drew University

Friedman, J. (2012). A stepping stone of language: Teaching poetry in the fourth grade classroom. MA dissertation. Berkeley: University of California.

Jocson, K.M. (2004) Writing as right/rite: Promoting literacy, social and academic development through poetry in the lives of urban youth. PhD thesis. Berkeley: University of California.

Koukis, S. (2010) At the Intersection of Poetry and a High School English Class: 9th Graders’ Participation in Poetry Reading Writing Workshop and the Relation to Social and Academic Identities’ Development. PhD thesis. Columbus, Ohio: The Ohio State University.

Pacheco, D.L. (2011) Writing out loud: The intellectual and epistemological work of developing a community of poets in an urban elementary classroom. PhD thesis. Los Angeles: University of California.

Piper, S. N. (2009) Poetry centers for the purpose of lowering inhibitions of English language learners in the constructivist English language arts classroom. PhD thesis. Alabama: Auburn University.

Redmond, M.C. (1997) Like a waterfall in a miracle’s hand: Children writing with art, music and poetry. EdD thesis. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia.

Sierra Monroig, C.F. (2004) The teaching of poetry to ESL students through the use of creative dramatics. Unpublished dissertation. Mayagues, Puerto Rico: University of Puerto Rico.

Snider, S.J. (1975) Cognitive and affective learning outcomes resulting from the use of behavioural objectives in teaching poetry. Journal of Educational Research, 68 (9): 333-338.

Walker, P.A. (2008) The impact of a series of poetry workshops on the cognitive development of middle school students. Unpublished dissertation. Los Angeles: University of California.

Wilensky, L.M. (2013) The Proof is in the Poetry: Generating student voice in a collaborative writing group approach to teaching and learning in ninth grade English. MA dissertation. San Diego: University of California, San Diego.  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The book ‘Creating a learning society’ selected as one of 40 landmark studies in education

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40@40 – A portrait of 40 years of educational research through 40 studies

As part of our 40th anniversary celebrations in 2014, BERA has collected together a set of 40 landmark studies that have had a significant impact on educational policy, educational practice, research methodology and/or educational theory over the past 40 years

To read further click here: http://www.bera.ac.uk/project/40at40

Mixed methods research in education: some challenges and possibilities

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Stephen Gorard

Durham University

s.a.c.gorard@bham.ac.uk

It was with great pleasure that I agreed to address the 2012 conference on mixed methods as part of UTDANNING2020 Research Council of Norway. My thesis was that what is usually called ‘mixed methods’ research in education is really just research in education. It is relatively easy to conduct, with many possibilities and few real-life challenges or barriers. What this paper tries to do is convey is part of why this is so. There are of course many different methods of investigation that could be said to be ‘mixed’ in any one study – interviews with documentary analysis, or multiple regression with inferential statistics, for example (Symonds and Gorard, 2010). However, for the purpose of this brief paper, the mixture is assumed to refer to those methods that have traditionally labelled ‘qualitative’ and ‘quantitative’. For some reason, social scientists have long separated any data that involves counting or measuring from all data that involves anything else – text, conversations, observations, smells, drawings, acting, music and so on. I have no idea why. But such social scientists say that these two groups – numbers and everything else – are incommensurable, and require a completely different logic to use, and have un-matched criteria for judging research quality, and many other purported differences. Then, just to confuse things, some social scientists say that we can and should mix these forms of data – and that presumably they are not commensurable in combination, only in isolation if that makes any sense at all. It is no wonder that new researchers are confused, and that the potential users of social science evidence just ignore us. We live in a kind of la-la land.

In this paper, what I want to suggest to new…

Click here for complete article (Mixed methods)

Little evidence that faith schools provide a better education

mrd8qx7x-1402490150The relationship between religion and education is a crucial issue for the UK. Historically, the British school system owes a lot of its shape and purpose to early work by churches and religious groups in setting up opportunities for poor and orphaned children.

 

The article is published by The Converstaion, an online website for UK news in education. For complete article please click here 

What are free schools the answer to?

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The government’s free school policy, which allows local communities to set up new schools that are funded by the state, has come under attack in recent days by MPs and sparked a row within the coalition.

In a new report on free schools, parliament’s public accounts committee said such schools are expensive, and are not generally appearing in the areas of greatest demand for school places.

Complete article available here.

The article is published by The Converstaion, an online website for UK news in education.

Teaching Assistants can improve literacy and numeracy skills when they are deployed well: EEF Press Release 7th February 2014

Press release from the Education Endowment Foundation

7th February 2014

Teaching assistants can improve literacy and numeracy skills when they are deployed well, according to the results of two randomised controlled trials published today by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).

Click here for complete press release.