Afterschool Alliance Research
The Afterschool Alliance Research Web page provides fact sheets, issue briefs, polling data, reports, and research by topic.
The Qualities of Quality: Understanding Excellence in Arts Education
This report 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.
Arts Education State Policy Database
Maintained by the Arts Education Partnership, this searchable database contains information on state arts education policies, including curriculum standards, graduation requirements, assessment practices, and certification requirements.
The Coming Up Taller Report [PDF], produced with Americans for the Arts, 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. Program Profiles describe over 200 after-school, weekend and summer programs contained within the Coming Up Taller report.
The Contours of Inclusion: Arts Learning Outcomes and Evaluation Strategies
VSA convened evaluators and practitioners for a research symposium in Baltimore, Maryland, on November 7, 2007. The symposium presentations highlighted the growing body of evaluation and research from the general arts education field. They also featured specific work that relates to students with disabilities.
Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement
This concise research summary responds to the needs of policymakers, educators, parents, and advocates who want factual, nontechnical language describing the value of arts in learning.
Learning in 3D: Arts and Cultural Programming in Afterschool [PDF]
by Julia Gittleman, PhD, Massachusetts Special Commission on After-School and
Out-of-School Time, © 2007
This issue brief, published by a special joint commission of the Massachusetts legislature, summarizes the findings from the literature on the key characteristics of successful programming. 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, by Shirley Brice Heath, with Elisabeth Soep and Adelma Roach; Americans for the Arts, © 1998
This landmark report 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 nonschool 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 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.
Neuroeducation: Learning, Arts, and the Brain
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.
Preparing All Children for 21st Century Success
Recommendations from the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Task Force on 21st Century Skills, © 2008
This report from a task force of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education asserts a stark reality: In order for our young people 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.)
Presentations: Access, Equity, and Quality in Arts Learning: Conference Highlights
This conference, titled AEQ: Access, Equity, and Quality in Arts Learning, took place during the 2009 annual Americans for the Arts convention and brought together experts on arts learning, as well as representatives and grantees of The Wallace Foundation, The Ford Foundation, The Grable Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The website connects to the presentations from this event. Increasing Arts Demand Through Better Arts Learning
The key to increasing demand for the arts may well lie in reversing the 30-year-long downtrend in arts learning, both in and out of school. A number of cities have been tackling that challenge by using “coordinated approaches” that seek to have schools and other providers join forces in a sustained effort to expand both access to and the quality of arts learning. The Wallace Foundation recently commissioned research on such coordinated efforts in six sites. This “Knowledge in Brief” describes the research and summarizes the policy implications those efforts have begun to yield.
VSA (the international organization on arts and disability) arts research agenda 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) Issues and Evidence Based Practices in Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Education.
YouthReach Colorado Shows Success
In 2005, the Colorado Creative Industries (CCA) initiated the YouthReach program, supporting community partnerships to assist young people in making a successful transition from adolescence to young adulthood through arts-based youth development. A CCA-commissioned comprehensive evaluation of the program from the National Research Center 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 to 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 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 Development Assets™ for Adolescents
Search Institute, Minneapolis, © 2004
Through extensive research, Search Institute has identified the 40 building blocks of healthy development that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. Elsewhere on the site, you can also find a PDF of this building blocks list, similar lists for younger children, and additional resources.