In recent years many school districts have had to restructure their arts curriculums to meet the growing emphasis on standards that is central to most school reform. This unique collection is meant to assist educators, policymakers, grantmakers and other stakeholders by focusing on the potential benefits of arts education for students and communities alike, and providing examples of creative ways school districts are handling their constraints.

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Learning In the Visual Arts and the Worldviews of Young Children

December 1, 2007

This paper reports a research study into the effects of rich,sustained visual arts instruction on 103inner city 9-year-olds in two major US cities. We use the lenses of social learning theory, theories of motivation and self-efficacy, and recentresearch on artistic thinking to investigate the programs' effects on children's self-beliefs and creative thinking. The study enlisted a pre -- post measure,treatment-comparison group design along with structured observations of participant andcomparison group classrooms. The arts students made significant comparative gains on a selfefficacy scale and on an 'originality' subscale of a standard creativity test. These effects are attributed to children's engagement in art and to the social organization of instruction includingreinforcing peer and student -- adult relationships. Relationships between self-efficacy beliefs andtendencies to think originally are explored.

Student Outcomes