Research

Afterschool Alliance Research
The Afterschool Alliance Research Web page provides fact sheets, issue briefs, polling data, reports, and research by topic.

Arts Education Partnership Publications
This site contains useful research, including A Snapshot of State Policies for Arts Education, Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning, Gaining the Arts Advantage: Lessons From School Districts That Value Arts Education, and Preparing Students for the Next America: The Benefits of an Arts Education.

ArtScan: Arts Education Policy Clearinghouse
The Arts Education Partnership created ArtScan as a searchable database of current laws and regulatory measures regarding state policies that explicitly support education in and through the arts, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Coming Up Taller Report [PDF], by Judith Humphreys Weitz

Produced by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, with the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies (now known as Americans for the Arts), this 1996 report describes how local artists and educators help turn around the lives of young people and identifies the common characteristics of effective arts and humanities programs. Profiles within the Coming Up Taller Report describe more than 200 programs, taking place after school, on weekends, and during the summer.

Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement [PDF], by Sandra S. Ruppert

This concise research summary, produced by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, responds to the needs of policymakers, educators, parents, and advocates who want a factual, non-technical description of the value of arts in learning.

Increasing Arts Demand Through Better Arts Learning [PDF]
According to this report, “The key to lifting demand for the arts may well lie in reversing the 30-year-long decline in arts learning, both in and out of schools. A number of cities have been tackling that challenge by using ‘coordinated approaches’ that seek to have schools and other providers join forces in expanding access to arts learning.” The Wallace Foundation commissioned research on such coordinated efforts in six sites. This Knowledge in Brief publication describes that research and summarizes the policy implications those efforts have begun to yield.

Learning in 3D: Arts and Cultural Programming in Afterschool
[PDF], by Julia Gittleman, PhD; Mendelsohn Gittleman & Associates, LLC

This 2007 issue brief summarizes the findings from the literature on the key characteristics of successful programming. Published by The Massachusetts Special Commission on After-School and Out-of-School Time, a special joint commission of the Massachusetts legislature, the paper also highlights key research on the effectiveness of out-of-school arts and cultural programming, notes Massachusetts’ leadership in this field, and identifies unique funding challenges for this work.

Living the Arts Through Language + Learning: A Report on Community-Based Youth Organizations [PDF], by Shirley Brice Heath, with Elisabeth Soep and Adelma Roach; Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

This landmark 1998 report, published by Americans for the Arts, examines how learning in the arts leads to the development of life skills and identifies the common characteristics of effective arts-based youth development programs.After conducting a nine-year national research project on non-school youth organizations in low-income neighborhoods, Stanford anthropologist Shirley Brice Heath concluded the following: Young people involved in arts-based programs over extended periods of time have increased chances of succeeding at high levels, both in school and beyond. They show heightened academic standing, a strong capacity for self-assessment, and a secure sense of their own ability to plan and work for themselves and their communities.

National Summit on Creative Youth Development: Setting the Agenda [PDF], by Lauren M. Stevenson, Junction Box Consulting; Massachusetts Cultural Council, ©2014

This report relates to the March 2014 National Summit on Creative Youth Development: Unite. Celebrate. Activate. The author researched arts, humanities, and science-based youth development programs to gain insights into the keys to their practice, impact, and future. The Massachusetts Cultural Council presented this event, in partnership with the National Guild for Community Arts Education and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

Neuroeducation: Learning, Arts, and the Brain: Findings and Challenges for Educators and Researchers From the 2009 Johns Hopkins University Summit [PDF], by Mariale Hardiman, EdD, Susan Magsamen, Guy McKhann, MD, and Janet Eilber; Dana Press, ©2009

This free publication is the culmination of a summit sponsored by The Johns Hopkins University School of Education’s Neuro-Education Initiative. The content focuses on the convergence of neuroscientific research and teaching and learning, with an emphasis on the arts.

Presentations: Access, Equity, and Quality in Arts Learning: Conference Highlights [PDF]
The AEQ: Access, Equity, and Quality in Arts Learning conference took place during Americans for the Arts’ 2009 annual convention and featured experts on arts learning, along with representatives and grantees from The Wallace Foundation, The Ford Foundation, The Grable Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The Videos and Presentations page of The Wallace Foundation website connects to the presentations from this event.

School Reform in the New Millennium: Preparing All Children for 21st Century Success [PDF], by the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Task Force on 21st Century Skills

This 2008 report, prepared by a task force of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, asserts a stark reality: To compete successfully for tomorrow’s jobs, today’s students will need to acquire the skills to become future leaders who can think creatively, work collaboratively, use technology to solve problems, and take initiative. Although the report focuses on school reform, the publication makes a strong case for the kind of work already occurring in arts and cultural out-of-school programs. (See page 8 for the list of skills and themes.)

The Qualities of Quality: Understanding Excellence in Arts Education [PDF], by Steve Seidel, Shari Tishman, Ellen Winner, Lois Hetland, and Patricia Palmer; Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA

The Wallace Foundation, with additional support from the Arts Education Partnership, commissioned this report, which addresses the multiple challenges of achieving and sustaining quality in arts education, across both major and emerging art forms in rural, urban, and suburban settings.

VSA
This international organization on arts and disability promotes an arts research agenda that seeks to strengthen our collective understanding of how the arts meet the educational needs of individuals with disabilities. Among its broad range of research, VSA has two studies on the impact of its Start with the Arts program for young children: (1) Current Issues and Evidence Based Practices in Using Art to Teach Literacy Skills and (2) Current Issues and Evidence Based Practices in Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Education.

YouthReach Colorado: Youth Outcome Evaluation Report [PDF], by National Research Center, Inc.

In 2005, The Colorado Council on the Arts (CCA) initiated the YouthReach program, to support community partnerships that help young people make a successful transition from adolescence to young adulthood, through arts-based youth development. CCA then commissioned the National Research Center to produce a comprehensive evaluation of the program. Published in 2008, the report revealed that YouthReach out-of-school programs raise the overall sense of self and develop the life skills of youth participants more than other types of out-of-school programs. The study compared the YouthReach participants with the Youth Outcome Network™, a compilation of more than 2,300 similar surveys administered to youth in a variety of out-of-school programs across the country. Nearly half of the participating youth reported improved academic engagement and involvement, as a result of the program they attended. More than two-thirds reported that they are better at taking responsibility for their actions and feel better about their futures.

40 Developmental Assets® for Adolescents (ages 12–18), by Search Institute, Minneapolis, MN, ©2006

Through extensive research, Search Institute has determined 40 building blocks that help young people (ages 12 to 18) develop into healthy, caring, and responsible individuals. The website also features a PDF of this building blocks list, similar lists for younger children, and additional resources.