Arts Classes Can Improve Students’ Performance and Writing Scores
Art is a great instrument that opens new horizons of our perception. Various art writing researches help us outlive important things in our lives and see them more clearly. Some people believe that it has therapeutic effects, while others appreciate its educational potential. The example of Houston Elementary, a school where first-graders were encouraged to take part in a puppet-show, proves that art’s impact can be extremely powerful. The show featured a story about fish, big and small, and the main message was that big fish shouldn’t harm small fish just because it can. It is obvious that we teach our children that bullying is not good and they know that. However, do they really understand that? Do they include this idea in their lives as their own?
Due to the practices of that kind, children have a chance to feel that they really are the participants of the story. They take part in it and think about it. In the end, they can formulate why bullying is bad and why people should avoid behavior like that. Houston schools do their best to use art practices of different kinds to help students with education. As it has been reported, learners benefit from such initiative in a number of ways, including communication with their peers, discipline, and scores on writing tasks. When students have access to such activities like dancing, acting, drawing, and singing, they improve their emotional state, as well as social and academic skills. This was proved by researchers of the University of Missouri Dan Bowen of Texas A&M and Brian Kisida.
The researchers announced their search for middle and elementary schools. An impressive number of educational institutions expressed interest in participation. However, most of these schools lacked full-time art teachers. Bowen and Kisida picked the schools randomly and invited about 5000 students to take part in the initiative. The chosen schools included outside-class hours to take children for field trips, cultural institutions and organize performances, where they could dance, sing, and act.
Researchers offered surveys to children. The main themes were their aspirations to go to college, help other people, and learning. Also, they compared the academic results with the previous ones to see if there are any positive effects. The survey results were mostly positive, however, statistically insignificant. Kisida says that statistics are not very helpful here, because even if some students’ had lower grades for math or reading during the program, it doesn’t mean that additional art hours were harmful.
Recently, more researchers were interested in this topic and launched similar projects at schools. It is said that museums, trips, and creative activity raises interest in culture, political tolerance, critical thinking, and even academic scores in various disciplines. Children from poor families rarely have an opportunity to join activities of that kind, therefore schools are responsible to help them, especially when they prove to bring educational benefits.
Also, some studies show that extra art hours bring more benefits to particular groups of students and have a smaller impact on others. Teachers reported that struggling students who don’t have high academic results, become more engaged and obtain new ways of learning due to art practices. As a result, art classes to make a difference to them. What is more, the researchers mention that the best results were obtained at schools and classes that were enthusiastic about the idea itself.
However, despite all the positive results that can be obtained with the help of such programs, schools have to come up with the ideas about how to organize art education. It is important for them to know how to prioritize additional activities, how to motivate students to take part in them, and how to track the results. In general, such initiatives make people aware that kids really can benefit from art education, both mentally and academically. Most of the researchers believe that having an opportunity like this is great support for students.