New study shows lasting effect of arts on personal development

Posted on: March 25, 2010

In Saturday’s (3/20) Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania), Alysea McDonald writes, “When I chose to devote my afterschool hours in high school to dance classes and theater rehearsals, I wasn’t trying to improve my math grades or increase my chances of being satisfied with my future career. … James S. Catterall of UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies would say that these activities do indeed have a presence in my life, even though I am not a professional performer. Catterall is a leading researcher in the fields of education and arts learning and engagement. … His new book, ‘Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art,’ details the effects of secondary school arts activities as they relate to school environment, socioeconomic backgrounds, and the lasting effects at ages 20 and 26. … Catterall’s team surveyed more than 25,000 students in American secondary schools during the late 1990s and followed up with more than 12,000 of them … His original studies established ‘for the first time in any comprehensible way that students involved in the arts are demonstrably doing better in school than those who are not.’ … What sets Catterall’s newly released data apart from other studies is the long-term conclusions he drew from following up with students at ages 20 and 26.”

Posted March 25, 2010