What the Evidence Shows About Arts and Academic Improvement

The arts have typically played a relatively unimportant role in American schools. Arts educators have tried to strengthen the position of the arts in our schools by arguing that the arts can be used to buttress the 3Rs. The arts, they said, could help children learn to read and write and calculate and understand scientific concepts. The reasoning was clear: perhaps schools under pressure would value the arts because the arts strengthened skills in “valued” areas. This approach became a favored strategy in the United States for keeping the arts in the schools F R O M T H E O R Y T O P R A C T I C E and for making sure that every child had access to arts education.

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