New research, jointly conducted by the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Education and Social Work and the Australia Council for the Arts, has revealed student participation in the arts at school significantly benefits learning in a number of important areas.
The study, based on 643 primary and high school students from 15 schools, was conducted over a two-year period and was published in the August edition of the Journal of Educational Psychology.
It found students who participated in dance, drama, music and visual arts showed more positive outcomes with homework completion, class participation, school enjoyment and educational aspirations, than those who did not participate in the arts at school.
This study provides new and compelling evidence that the arts should be central to schooling and not left on the fringes (Associate Professor Dr Michael Anderson)
The same students demonstrated higher levels of personal wellbeing measures when participating in the arts, such as self-esteem, life satisfaction, and a sense of meaning or purpose.
These findings may come as little or no surprise to many drama/theatre educators reading this post. Research studies such as this are critical, as they confirm what we see in our drama classrooms every day.
Those interested in the full findings of this research study can purchase the published article here.
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