Little Steps have partnered with the Singapore American School to talk about how art can help with your traditional academic education. Here they discuss four ways in which art let’s your child become a well-rounded individual.
You may not be raising the next Michelangelo, Mozart, or Martha Graham (the mother of modern dance) but that doesn’t mean your child should only indulge in math, science, and reading classes. Visual and performing arts classes provide value that can be measured beyond whether or not your child ends up pursuing those fields professionally. For decades researchers have studied the link between academic performance and the inclusion of arts classes in the curriculum. In case you’re wondering whether there is any value in choosing dance, or beginner watercolor for your child this year, take a look at these four studies.
Boost To SAT Scores
In a 2000 study titled “SAT Scores of Students Who Study the Arts: What We Can and Cannot Conclude about the Association,” authors Kathryn Vaughn and Ellen Winner demonstrated that as a student took progressively more years of art classes they experienced slight increases in SAT scores. While the average SAT score was 1028, the average score for a student who had over four years of art class was 1074.
Moves, Grooves & Better Grades
“Art and Community: Creating Knowledge through Service in Dance,” was a 2002 study conducted by Janice Ross about a group of 60 students who took dance classes bi-weekly who demonstrated significant gains in confidence, tolerance, and persistence, which in turn had a positive impact on their academic success.
Seeing Art & Science
A study with 162 children, age 9 and 10, took the students and trained them to look closely at various pieces of art and were then asked to observe and draw conclusions about what they saw. “The results showed that children’s ability to draw inferences about artwork transferred to their reasoning about images in science.” The study, “Investigating the Educational Impact and Potential of the Museum of Modern Art’s Visual Thinking Curriculum: Final Report,” found in both cases, the “critical skill is that of looking closely and reasoning about what is seen.”
Act It Out
The use of drama and acting in the classroom is nothing new. In fact, it is a common approach for helping students develop literacy skills. In a 2002 study titled, “A Naturalistic Study of the Relationship between Literacy Development and Dramatic Play in Five-Year-Old Children,” Dr. Jennifer Goodman found that the “development of literacy skills among pre-kindergarteners was fostered when the children were allowed to act out their favorite stories. Dramatic play also helped motivate them to learn.”
Whatever you may believe about the connection between the arts and academics, many researchers have suggested that the value of the visual and performing arts lies inherent in itself. It does not need to prove itself by providing academic value. Instead, the arts provide their own value to cultures and societies around the world and have done so for centuries.
Art has a positive impact on academic success, what's not to love.
Kids who like art and kids who aren't strong in traditional academic subjects.
Make sure your child spends time in the arts, they will become well-rounded students.
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