Arts and Academic Success
November 29, 2016 at 11:46 am #1716
New NEA Research Report Shows Potential Benefits of Arts Education for At-Risk Youth
“High school students who earned few or no arts credits,” for example, “were five times more likely not to have graduated than students who earned many arts credits” (p.14).
Additionally, the researchers found that aspirations for college attainment and professional careers are positively related to arts participation, and that adults with previous arts engagement are more likely to be in occupations that require post-secondary education.
•Overall, students in the high-arts group outperformed their low-arts counterparts on every measure of academic achievement. Students in the high-arts group also scored more favorably on attitude measures (persistence in school, attitudes about community service) than low-arts students.
•When examining only the lowest quartile for SES, the positive relationship between arts involvement and academic achievement remained robust.
Involvement in the Arts and Academic Success. Positive developments for students engaged in the arts are seen at each step in the research and comparative gains for arts-involved students became more pronounced over time. This includes students of low socio-economic status.
Music and mathematics achievement. Students who report consistent high levels of involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade twelve. The differences in measured mathematics proficiency between students consistently involved versus not involved in instrumental music, grew significantly over time.
Theatre arts and human development. Sustained student involvement in theatre arts (acting in plays and musicals, participating in drama clubs, and taking acting lessons) associates with a variety of developments for youth: gains in reading proficiency, gains in self-concept and motivation, and higher levels of empathy and tolerance for others. The analyses of theatre arts were undertaken for low socio-economic status students only.
•Students who participated in MNPS music programs for up to one year had significantly better attendance and graduation rates, higher GPAs and test scores, and lower discipline reports than their non-music peers. Students with more than one year of music participation performed significantly better than their peers with less on each of these indicators.
•Researchers estimated a correlation between music classes, student engagement, and academic achievement. They found that Student Characteristics had a large direct effect on Music Participation, and that School Engagement had an even larger effect on Academic Achievement. Music Participation had direct effects on Academic Achievement and Student Engagement.
•Current music students tended to identify themselves and the bulk of their “friend group” as being musicians. They attribute academic behaviors such as self-discipline, persistence, and leadership to their participation in music, and reported that skills learned in music class transferred to other academic subjects including mathematics, literature, and foreign language. They described music participation as a motivator for demonstrating positive self-behaviors, specifically attendance. These students also reported that music class had positive effects on their mood, making them feel happier, less stressed, and more accomplished.
Significance of the Findings:
Findings of this study indicate music participation in middle and high school has meaningful impacts on student engagement and academic achievement. The ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of MNPS implies these findings might be generalizable to a range of student populations. Quality music programs are therefore worthy recipients of a school district’s resources, so that a maximum amount of students can experience the positive effects associated with music participation. Schools should take action to encourage participation and reverse attrition in these programs.
Researchers utilized both large-scale quantitative data analysis and multiple qualitative research methods to establish a baseline of data about music participation in MNPS schools. Quantitative data on high school music participation, school engagement, and academic achievement were collected for all students in the MNPS class of 2012 (6,006 students). Researchers looked at differences between key indicators of academic success for students with no music participation, up to one year of music participation, and more than one year of music participation. The indicators were attendance, discipline, GPA, on-time graduation, and ACT scores in English and Mathematics. Next, researchers conducted structural equation modeling on the data to estimate causal relationships between Student Characteristics, Music Participation, School Engagement, and Academic Achievement. Finally, surveys and focus groups were conducted with 5th through 12th grade students to elicit perceptions of music experiences in MNPS. There were 71 surveys and 93 focus group participants; the two groups were not necessarily discrete. Qualitative data was analyzed via an inductive approach, using the constant comparison method, thus allowing patterns and themes to emerge naturally from student responses.
•The first meta-analysis found a modest positive correlation between the voluntary study of music and mathematical achievement.
•The second meta-analysis found that music training was effective at improving mathematics performance.
•The third meta-analysis found that there was only a very small positive effect of playing music in the background and mathematics performance.
As a central part of the school curriculum (delivered both in arts classrooms and through arts integrated instruction in non-arts classrooms), the study finds that arts education:
•Provides safe spaces for students to take risks and explore solutions and ideas, including ideas about themselves and their futures.
•Fosters students’ abilities to be adaptive and flexible in their solutions—aspects of critical and creative thinking.
•Helps students to develop ownership of the creative process and of their own learning—including taking responsibility for setting their own goals, developing criteria for success, and monitoring their own progress.
•Builds students’ self-efficacy, an essential component of student success in school and life.
•Makes students visible in schools and communities in ways that nurture their sense that they matter.
•Fosters students’ engagement in school by helping them connect learning and curricular content to their personal lives, cultures, and home environments—helping learning to matter to them more.
•Develops teachers’ abilities to understand and relate to their students and, therefore, to teach more effectively by helping students construct new knowledge in relation to prior knowledge and experience.
•Increases teachers’ engagement and satisfaction in the teaching profession.
•Builds community and social capital where it is present in the schools, leading to interdependence, tolerance, and empathy.November 30, 2016 at 1:21 am #1726
Musical Immigrants- transitioning from one culture to another successfullyApril 25, 2017 at 3:17 pm #3535
A new approach to frame arts instruction. Provided by Janet Stephens.
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