Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development

  • October 24, 2011
  • By a2ru      
“What good is it?”


 

When art-education skeptics demand, “What good is it?” advocates often resort to arguments about “transfer”: learning in the arts develops skills and cognitive capacities that are valuable in other domains. We talk about “near” transfer – learning to play the clarinet improves fine-motor dexterity; learning to dance improves large motor coordination – and “far” transfer – learning in the arts improves reading, writing, organizational, and social skills. This valuable volume is a compendium of summaries and discussion of 62 of the best research studies exploring such claims for programs in dance, music, drama, the visual arts, and multiple arts. The summary on page 152 lists links between study in the arts and beneficial effects in 65 important social and academic domains. Because the quality of the studies included was so high, and the review so rigorous, these findings can be considered fairly robust.

Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development. Edited by Richard J. Deasy. Arts Education Partnership, 2002.