Art for Art's Sake?
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Art for Art's Sake?

The Impact of Arts Education

Arts education is often said to be a means of developing critical and creative thinking. Arts education has also been argued to enhance performance in non-arts academic subjects such as mathematics, science, reading and writing, and to strengthen students’ academic motivation, self-confidence, and ability to communicate and co-operate effectively. Arts education thus seems to have a positive impact on the three subsets of skills that we define as "skills for innovation": subject-based skills, including in non-arts subjects; skills in thinking and creativity; and behavioural and social skills.

This report examines the state of empirical knowledge about the impact of arts education on these kinds of outcomes. The kinds of arts education examined include arts classes in school (classes in music, visual arts, theatre, and dance), arts-integrated classes (where the arts are taught as a support for an academic subject), and arts study undertaken outside of school (e.g. private music lessons; out-of-school classes in theatre, visual arts, and dance). The report does not deal with education about the arts or cultural education, which may be included in all kinds of subjects.

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Cognitive outcomes of dance education You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
OECD

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This chapter reviews the research on the effects of dance education on cognitive outcomes: general academic achievement, reading, and visualspatial skills. There is a small amount of evidence that dance education enhances visual-spatial skills. But research has yet to examine whether these spatial strengths allow dancers to perform better than nondancers in academic areas in which spatial reasoning is important, such as geometry or physics.

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