Report: Arts education boost to academic skills may be limited

Posted on: June 20, 2013

On Monday (6/17) at the website of Southern California Public Radio, Mary Plummer writes about “Art for Art’s Sake: The Impact of Arts Education,” a 270-page report released Monday by the Paris-based Centre for Educational Research and Innovation. Among the findings, writes Plummer, “Music education strengthens IQ (intelligence quotient), academic performance, word decoding and phonological skills and there is preliminary evidence that music education might facilitate foreign language learning. While there are a number of studies showing a positive impact of music education on visual-spatial reasoning, the sole longitudinal study on this question detected no persistent influence after three years of music, which suggests the need for caution. There is also no evidence that music education has any causal impact on mathematics scores, even though mathematicians may be attracted to music…. Strong evidence shows that theatre education … strengthens verbal skills, but there is no evidence for a link between theatre training and overall academic skills. While there is no evidence that training in visual arts improves overall academic skills or verbal skills (literacy), two new correlational studies reveal that students who study the visual arts are stronger in geometrical reasoning than students who do not study the visual arts.”

Posted June 20, 2013