Why is arts learning so unique in its impact?

Nurturing creativity through arts education develops skills and attributes that cannot be replicated through other experiences. Children who are sequentially educated in the arts have a better chance of becoming innovative, critical thinkers who are comfortable adapting from mistakes.

A standard, Pre-K-12 curriculum that includes arts education fosters well-rounded graduates who enter college and the workforce with creative skills and a competitive edge.

Arts learning is essential to student success.

What the research tells us….

In the Conference Board report, Ready to Innovate (2008), when asked to name the educational experiences that are indicators of creativity, school superintendents ranked arts study as the highest indicator of creativity. But there has been a gap between understanding this need for creative learning and putting it into meaningful practice.

This year, IBM commissioned a Global CEO Study in which they interviewed over 1500 CEOs, from large and small companies in 60 countries, representing 33 different industries.  They asked these CEOs what is the most important leadership competency needed to manage in an increasingly complex world.  The top answer, by far:  CREATIVITY.

The arts don’t own creativity, but they support and nurture it in unique and important ways.  By including the arts, schools can ensure that students get a balanced and well-rounded education that addresses their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth.

For more than a decade, credible research has been available that demonstrates consistently better outcomes for students highly involved in the arts: better grades, less likelihood of dropping out, and more positive attitudes about school. The studies also show that the benefits of high levels of arts participation makes the greatest difference for economically disadvantaged students.

As a matter of social justice, we need to make sure that this benefit is provided to all students, not just those who can afford it. Together, our efforts will ensure that all students receive the benefits of arts learning: learning that is rigorous, relevant and relationship-based.

We recommend Critical Evidence as a must-read summary of the top research.

Read more on our Research page.

This was posted in the category Q&A's.
  • It’s a win for every student and every school!

    State Board of Education Approves Increased Arts Requirements for High School Graduation The Board’s decision helped culminate a week-long national celebration of the arts, as schools, students, and communities [...]

    Learn More →

  • Check out Art Lessons in the Classroom

    ArtsEd Washington developed Art Lessons in the Classroom to provide visual art curriculum for elementary schools that is aligned with Washington state standards.This comprehensive and sequential visual arts curriculum provides an excellent foundation in visual arts concepts.

    Learn More →

  • ArtsEd Washington is pleased to announce that our Principals Arts Leadership (PAL) program participant, Madrona K-8 School, was recently awarded a grant from the Crayola Champion Creatively Alive program!

    Under the leadership of Principal Farah Thaxton, and with guidance of our PAL program, Madrona has enlisted an active group of parents, community partners, and artists to assist in their capacity building to integrate the arts into all aspects of their curriculum. As they head into their second year of PAL, and now with the support of the Champion Creatively Alive grant, Madrona plans to continue developing their arts plan that will:

    • Establish model lessons and implementation tools;
    • Strengthen teachers’ confidence in facilitating arts-integrated lessons; and
    • Set standards around long-term, sequential arts programming, and more.

    When asked how the PAL program was a contributor to their grant application , Principal Thaxton said, “Our work through PAL enabled our Arts Team to clarify our priorities, to be very intentional in what we plan to achieve in the years ahead. Working with an experienced Coach, we created a realistic, practical plan, with benchmarks each trimester. This is critical in achieving the transformation we have envisioned for Madrona. We were able to show Crayola and NAESP that we are taking concrete steps to teach our students critical skills, like resourcefulness and inventiveness, which strong arts education provides.”.

    Congratulations, Madrona!

    A special thank you to Crayola and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) for providing opportunities for schools to foster creativity through the arts, as part of a basic and complete education. We appreciate all that you do to support arts education for every student at every school!

    Learn More →