Today’s post is really a shout out to the research team of Kylie Peppler, Christy Powell, Naomi Thompson and James Catterall. Mr. Catterall is at the Center for Research On Creativity at UCLA and the others are working at Indiana University’s School of Education. Their article (Peppler, K., Powell, C., Thompson, N., Catterall, J. (2014). Positive Impact of Arts Integration on Student Academic Achievement in English Language Arts. The Educational Forum, 78(4), 364-377. doi: 10. 1080/ 00131725. 2014.941124) has this to say about their arts research:
Amid the high-stakes testing environments in today’s schools, we argue that high quality arts integration positively influences student academic achievement. Drawing on a longitudinal study of an intensive multi-art integration model implemented in public elementary schools in the Los Angeles area, we found consistent and significant gains in student proficiency on standardized tests of English Language Arts when compared to matched comparison school sites with standalone arts programming (Peppler et. al., 2014, abstract).
Catterall has been leading the charge in researching the effects of the arts on student achievement. This line of research has suffered from methodological design flaws but this current research and my own work in Rochester, NY are helping to uncover these effects through more rigorous designs. Peppler et. al. (2014) found significant results with an arts-integration treatment in 3 treatment schools and 3 matched pair control schools. Average percentage gain for students in the whole school were 11%, while for English Language Learners it was 15%. Researchers cite possible impacts for practice, policy and research.