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Why study arts?

RSA 8 July 2014

Sam Cairns

on 7 July 2014

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Transcript of Why study arts?

Sam Cairns
Cultural Learning Alliance
Why study arts?
Schools White Paper The Importance of Teaching, published by the Department for Education, stated that "Children should expect to be given a rich menu of cultural experiences."
Schools remain the single most important place where children learn about Cultural Education.
The Cultural Learning Alliance (CLA) is a collective voice working to ensure that all children and young people have meaningful access to culture
Using the British Cohort Study of 1970, a report by Karen Robson for the Institute for Social and Economic Research found that “Even accounting for the effects of economic capital of the family of origin, art and music-related leisure, having attended a night course, reading for pleasure, visiting a library and leisure writing at age 16 all increased the odds of having a university degree at 29.”
Robson, “Teenage Time Use as Investment in Cultural Capital,” 2003
Because it makes us more intelligent
Because it makes us do better in exams
Because it makes us better citizens
Because it makes us healthier
Because it makes us human
The CASE review:
taking part in structured arts activities could increase children’s cognitive abilities test scores by 16% and 19% on average
British Cohort Study

1 standard deviation increase in cognitive ability age 11:

20.2% rise in the likelihood of staying on at school post-16
10% increase in hourly wages at the age of 42.
Students from low income families who take part in arts activities at school are three times more likely to get a degree
Catterall also found that the education advantages to the students with high arts involvement appeared to increase over time and
arts-engaged low-income students tend to perform more like average higher-income students
participating in structured arts activities led to increases in transferrable skills of between 10-17% .
Specific art forms have specific benefits
high levels of involvement in instrumental music result in significantly higher maths proficiency
drama results in gains in reading proficiency, motivation and empathy for others. (CASE review)

Young people using libraries read above the expected level for their age, young people who don’t read below the expected level . (National Literacy Trust)
School Visit Program Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

randomized controlled trial 3,811 students
assigned by lottery

significantly stronger critical thinking skills when analyzing a new painting.
These effects were larger for students from more disadvantaged backgrounds.
Art Makes you Smart
“When employability is controlled for the number of years spent in school, young people that studied arts subjects tend to have higher employability and are more likely to maintain employment than those that did not study arts subjects.

In addition, young people who took 2 or more arts subjects at standard grade tend to have a higher rate of employment than those who took only 1 arts subject ” DTZ, Arts and Employability, 2006
NELS:88 survey - 12,000 participants through to age 26

Low SES at age of 26
High-arts 24.3% volunteering
Low-arts 10.8% voluneering

High-arts students were:
15% more likely to vote
30% more likely to have voted in the most recent presidential election
20 percent more likely to have voted in any election in the 24 months

British Cohort Study of 1970
art and music-related leisure, reading for pleasure and visiting a museum during the reference period at age 16 increased the odds of civic engagement at 29

Students from low income families who engage in the arts at school are twice as likely to volunteer and are 20% more likely to vote as young adults
NRG2 research findings

creative dance can provide physical and psychological benefits for young girls;
these benefits are equal to, and at times better than, the benefits of participation in PE classes.
The trends also show improvements for the boys, but these were not always significant.

Hampshire Dance and Laban 2010
Wellbeing - Creative Partnerships Research 2012
Journal of Educational Psychology

"students who participate in dance, drama, music, and visual arts showed more positive academic and personal wellbeing outcomes than students who were not as involved in the arts"

University of Sydney’s Faculty of Education and Social Work
Australia Council for the Arts 2013
• Sutton Trust research: 68% of professional parents versus 31% of lowest income parents pay for music, drama or sport lessons.

• DCMS Taking Part data: 33% of 11-15 year old boys and 20% of girls do not access arts outside of schools and children from lower socio-economic backgrounds have less access to arts than children from wealthier families.

• In 2009 Ipsos MORI found 77% of parents with A Levels or a degree reported their child as having participated in cultural activities with the family in the past year compared to 60% of parents with no qualifications. The same study also found that there are ‘no statistically significant differences in terms of children’s participation with their school by parental qualification level’.

Because it makes us more likely to get a job
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