Decades of research show strong and consistent links between high-quality arts education and a wide range of impressive educational outcomes. This is true even though, as in most areas where learning is complex, the research base does not yet establish causal proof.
Arts integration models, the practice of teaching across classroom subjects in tandem with the arts, have been yielding some particularly promising results in school reform and closing the achievement gap.
Most recently, cutting-edge studies in neuroscience have been further developing our understanding of how arts strategies support crucial brain development in learning.
At the same time, due to budget constraints and emphasis on the subjects of high stakes testing, arts instruction in schools is on a downward trend.
Just when they need it most, the classroom tasks and tools that could best reach and inspire these students –– art, music, movement and performing –– are less available to them. Sadly, this is especially true for students from lower-income schools, where analyses show that access to the arts in schools is disproportionately absent.