Statistics supporting arts education? Statistics supporting art?

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    Question Statistics supporting arts education? Statistics supporting art?

    I'm looking for a webpage or a book or any resource that would directly give me statistics supporting my theory that the integration of art has positively impacted schools. I want to prove that art improves student's behavior and attitude, possibly even their self esteem and attendance.

    I am specifically looking for STATISTICS supporting this theory.


    ANY HELP/ANSWERS WOULD BE APPRECIATED!

    Thank you.

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    This post sums up everything that is wrong with social science.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Faust~ View Post
    This post sums up everything that is wrong with social science.
    Indeed. The "scientific methodology" prevalent at alot of colleges and universities these days was one of the reasons i didn't exactly feel like partying after earning my master's degree in sociology.

    But on-topic, if you need "credible" sources for this type of somewhat questionable hypothesis, i suggest you do what alot of students do: Google it and then start sifting through the information resulting from said search.

    - When you cannot win a large victory, learn to settle for a small one.
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    yeah, i'm actually in high school and this is for my senior thesis project. thanks for putting me down though. the only reason why i came to this forum was because i've been having a lot of trouble finding statistics.

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    I'm not sure how you measure something like the impact of art on students with empirical evidence. How do you measure self esteem or attitude? If you find attendance is better, how do you connect it to art studies?

    I guess the sad thing is that there even NEEDS to be proof that art enriches students. You'd think the fact that every culture I've ever heard of has created some form of art would signify that it's something vitally important to us on a fundamental level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chloelazo View Post
    the only reason why i came to this forum was because i've been having a lot of trouble finding statistics.
    Translated: I don't draw, but these people might do my thesis for me.

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    There are many specialized arts high schools across the country. Why don't you try comparing statistics from them with HS statistics overall?
    (assumes you are in the US)

    Last edited by Elwell; September 18th, 2009 at 02:22 PM.

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    Actually there have been many studies done on this. Go to a library and sift through the academic journals and databases and you will find the information you want. We're not statisticians or researchers.

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    "I'm looking for a webpage or a book or any resource that would directly give me statistics supporting my theory that the integration of art has positively impacted schools. I want to prove that art improves student's behavior and attitude, possibly even their self esteem and attendance."

    Here's your problem. As Elwell says, there are many public and private schools that specialize in arts education, some with very high reputations, and long waiting lists. There's one in Boston I visited as a grad student, and I got to interview several people there. The school taught everything, and each subject incorporated art as a means of engaging students. The student body boasted high grades, high retention rates, and about 90-95% went on to college. But, here's the thing. These were already the cream of the crop of Boston. Those who were planning from the get-go to succeed in life. They had the best grades in middle school, and they could write the best entrance essays. So, was it the art that made them good, or was it just the students themselves that made the program look good? Because, there are other specialty schools that focus on math and science, and make all the same claims.

    I believe it's extremely important to study art, because it gives you something to enjoy throughout your life, and a way to comment on what you experience. To truly do a study proving arts' significance, you'd need to do two separate studies. First, find a school or district that's increased funding and performance in the arts over a long period of time. Then study things like retention rates, incidents of violence, rates of drug abuse, and %'s of students going on to higher education. Conduct student surveys asking to what extent art education has affected their lives. Then extrapolate a conclusion taking into account external factors like an improving/declining economy, increasing/decreasing crime rates, changes in student behavior (time spent studying, going out, surfing the internet) etc...

    The closest to a study I've seen recently on this was on NPR. They wrote about a study of the national competence of students in creative/performance arts and found that there has been no real progress over the last ten years. I'll look up a link.

    Long story short: you're looking for statistics that don't exist, that no one cares enough to pay for, and that would be very difficult to piece together. You need to shift gears on your topic.

    EDIT: And, just to explain why I thanked Faust for his reply, he's absolutely right in saying that your entire approach to this topic is flawed. We don't study art so that we can boost high school attendence or student behavior. Choosing that as a primary goal is an insult to art ed. It's like saying the best reason for teaching evolution is to increase computer sales at radio shack. Sure, buying computers is nice, but the main goal of teaching evolution is to understand the world we live in, and the main reason for teaching art is to have more skilled artists working, period.

    Last edited by TASmith; September 20th, 2009 at 03:04 PM.
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    I don't think he's talking about arts high schools. I understood that he meant art classes in regular high schools versus schools where they have eliminated the art class. There have been studies done to see if young children fare better in other classes, with paying attention, and with stress if they have an art class in school.

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    I know he's not talking about arts highschools, but that's about the only opportunity to find any statistics to "prove" his theory. By all means, though, post some of those other studies if you know any. Of course, any school that cuts their art budget is probably a poorer school from a poorer neighborhood, so I imagine stats will be scewed somewhat for that reason.

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