February 28, 2012
This report examines the academic and civic behavior outcomes of teenagers and young adults who have engaged deeply with the arts in or out of school. In several small-group studies, children and teenagers who participated in arts education programs have shown more positive academic and social outcomes in comparison to students who did not participate in those programs. Such studies have proved essential to the current research literature on the types of instrumental benefits associated with an arts education.A standard weakness of the literature, however, has been a dearth of large-scale, longitudinal studies following the same populations over time, tracking the outcomes of students who received intensive arts exposure or arts learning compared with students who did not. This report is a partial attempt to fill this knowledge gap. The report's authors, James Catterall et al., use four large national databases to analyze the relationship between arts involvement and academic and social achievements.