Art Experiences

General Learning In addition to improved cognition, studies also illustrate the connection between visual learning and gains in reading and creativity. As students learn to critique art, they also improve their vocabulary and language skills. The process of drawing results in students being better able to visualize and plan. Improved thinking skills and verbal skills of disabled children also results from drawing. The arts provide students the opportunity to visualize their emotions and feelings. By encouraging students’ participation in the arts, students are better able to express themselves. Eisner, E.W. (1998, January). Does experience in the arts boost academic achievement? Art Education, pp. 7-15. <br /><br /> Jing, J., Yuan, C., and Liu, J. (1999). Study of human figure drawings in learning disabilities. Chinese Mental Health Journal, 133-34.
General Learning Researchers studied the affects of art-based programs outside of schools on student participants. They found that these students have increased language and expression abilities. For instance, students could, within four to six weeks of participation in art activity, form more complex sentences, engage in hypothetical learning processes, and began to transform their daily experiences into art. Heath, S.B. and Roach, A. Imaginative actuality: learning in art during the nonschool hours. Stanford University and Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. In E. Fiske (Ed.), Champions of change: the impact of the arts on learning. [Online report]. Washington, DC: The Arts Education Partnership and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
General Learning Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE), founded in 1992, brings local artists into Chicago schools to partner with teachers in all grades. These teacher-artist partnerships brought art into the classroom to support specific academic goals in the other academic areas like reading and science. Schools applied for grants to participate in CAPE. After students experienced visual arts learning, targeted to improve specific goals, investigators found positive trends in the standardized test scores—CAPE students began to widen the gap on non-CAPE students, especially in mathematics. Also, CAPE students exhibited positive attitudes towards art instruction in the classroom. Researchers discovered that CAPE students also develop better life skills, such as the ability to speak effectively, to motivate, and to make decisions. Catterall, J.S. and Waldorf, L. Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education: summary evaluation. University of California, Los Angeles Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. In E. Fiske (Ed.), Champions of change: the impact of the arts on learning. [Online report]. Washington, DC: The Arts Education Partnership and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
General Learning In this study, researchers randomly put sixth graders in two groups. All students studied Mesopotamia and Egypt, but each student received either a writing-only assessment or a combination-of-writing-and-drawing assessment. After one unit, the students who participated in the writing-only group switched to the writing-and-drawing group for the second unit and vice-versa. Researchers concluded that when students wrote and drew, they received higher scores than when they only wrote. Also, students showed higher interdisciplinary learning when they wrote and drew. These findings were also true of students with limited English-speaking abilities. DeJarnette, K.G. (1997). The Arts, language, and knowing: an experimental study of the potential of the visual arts for assessing academic learning by language minority students. Unpublished dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles.
General Learning The Visual Teaching Curriculum’s (VTC) trained nine- and ten-year-old students to look at and describe pieces of art. Through this process, researchers sought whether or not these skills could also apply to looking at non-art images from the field of science. Before participation, students described two artworks and were asked to do so again after a year of lessons and at least two visits to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Also after a year, students who participated, as well as a control group of students who were not exposed to the VTC, investigated a picture of a fossil record of animal footprints. The students in the control group performed similarly to the VTC students before they had participated in the program. After a year, the VTC students achieved higher scores in the areas of evidential reasoning and circular reasoning and were more conscious of the subjectivity of the assignment. Tishman, S., MacGillivray, D., and Palmer, P. (1999). Investigating the educational impact and potential of the Museum of Modern Art’s Visual Thinking Curriculum: final report. Unpublished report, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.
General Learning Jensen in Arts with the Brain in Mind notes visual arts, “enhances cognition, emotional expression, perception, cultural awareness, and aesthetics; they can play a signifigant roll in the learning process.” Jensen, E. (2001). Arts with the brain in mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
General Learning Stockrocki compiles a meaningful group of essays focused on the successes of an interdisciplinary visual art education curriculum/program. She also proposes future direction for the field. Stockrocki, M. (Ed.) (2005). Interdisciplinary art education: building bridges to connect disciplines and cultures. Reston, VA: The National Art Education Association.
General Learning This article discusses “the significance of art experiences in the development of skills in children. It touches on how children’s motor skills can be developed through art, the importance of introducing new materials, and how children of different ages may react to certain materials. Susan Miller suggests various art activities to nurture children’s spontaneity and sense of wonder.” Miller, S. (2003). How children build skills through art. Early Childhood Today. 17, 7.
General Learning Brigham states, “Artists emphasize the role of the imaginative intellect in creating, criticizing, and constructing knowledge that is not only new but also has the capacity to transform human understanding. [Focus on the Fine Arts: Visual Arts] is divided into three content areas that provide a unique framework for carrying out inquiry in the visual arts: Contexts for Visual Arts Research is a historical review that positions the visual arts as a culturally grounded and institutionally bound area of artistic and educational inquiry. Theorizing Visual Arts Practice presents the thesis that visual arts practice is a theoretically robust area of inquiry and a transformative approach to creating and critiquing knowledge. Visual Arts Research Practices describes a range of strategies and approaches to planning and carrying out visual arts research Brigham, D. (1989). Focus on the fine arts: visual arts. Washington DC: National Education Association.
General Learning Students who were labeled as disadvantaged became a part of a cross-cultural study of preschoolers. A total of 215 pre-kindergarten and 228 kindergarten students from schools in Tel Aviv, Israel and Columbus, Ohio participated in a project to discover the value of visual arts instruction. Some students were merely given art tools with no instruction. The others received four-part instruction using discussion, observation, touch, and technical training. According to the article, “results indicate that experimental teaching methods produced significant gains while the control [traditional] method did not. Methods of observation and drawing technique were most effective, and the results were generally similar for both national groups. It is concluded that (1) drawing is an effective medium for developing cognitive abilities when carefully designed methods are employed, and (2) disadvantaged children from the two countries have similar needs and potentialities.” Mooney, R., & Smilansky, S. (1973). An experiment in the use of drawing to promote cognitive development in disadvantaged preschool children in Israel and the United States. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED408952)
General Learning A study released by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum states that arts education benefits literacy skills, citing improvements in a range of literacy skills among students who took part in a program in which the Guggenheim sends artists into schools. The study interviewed hundreds of New York City third grade students, some of whom had participated in the Guggenheim program, called “Learning Through Art,” with other students who did not participate. (July 27, 2006) Guggenheim study suggests arts education benefits literacy skills. New York Times.
General Learning The article, according to the author, “presents information on how several school districts in the U.S. integrate arts education into the curriculum in 2006. The mission of Beaufort County School District is to approach subjects from various viewpoints. It supports specialists in art, music, dance, drama, band and voice, and in high school specialties such as ceramics, photography, painting and welding Sternberg, R. E (2006). Arts at the core. American School Board Journal, 193, 6, 44-47.
Mathematics According to the National Arts Research Center, students who had not previously studied art improved their performance in geometry through the study of the visual arts, specifically sculpture and architecture. Thomas, J.B. (1992, October). The lost arts: why arts education is crucial for kids. Better Homes and Gardens.
Mathematics According to the article, “sequential, skill-building instruction in art and music integrated with other subjects can greatly improve children’s performance in reading and math (1996). Arts improve reading and math.  Teaching Music, 4, 2, 8-11.
Mathematics This paper puts forward, “a post-modern curriculum reform in art education by examining elements of math and art that are congruent Bickley-Green, C. A. (1995). Math and art curriculum integration: a post-modern foundation. Studies in Art Education, 37, 1, 6-18.
Reading and Language Arts One year after the Anza School in Los Angeles developed its visual arts curriculum, its students’ reading scores increased twofold. Oddleifson, E. (1991, Winter). The case for the arts: by cutting back on arts to strengthen their basic core curriculum, schools may be taking a giant leap backward. The Learning Revolution, 46.
Reading and Language Arts In this evaluation, researchers studied the effects of visual arts instruction on reading. Specifically, the investigators sought the answers to two questions: one, is art instruction alone enough to improve reading skills?, otherwise known as the cognitive-transfer-of-skills hypothesis; and, two, is teaching reading alone less successful in improving reading skills than teaching reading through art?, otherwise known as the motivational-entry-point hypothesis. Burger and Winner found a small effect of visual arts instruction on reading readiness scores and a positive relationship between reading improvement and a reading-through-the-arts program. Burger, K. and Winner, E. (2000, Fall). Instruction in visual art: canit help children learn to read? Journal of Aesthetic Education, 277-293.
Reading and Language Arts Jeffrey D. Wilhelm wanted to find the effects of visual arts on “reluctant learning-disabled readers” and their abilities to enjoy reading. His research centered on two seventh-grade boys, both who have identified disabilities and are reluctant readers. These boys experienced lessons over nine weeks to help them see stories through the visual arts, including finding objects that could represent characters, drawing pictures of those passages with the strongest language, illustrating books, and picture mapping stories. After the lessons, the boys became more engaged in reading; they became more sophisticated readers and took more active roles in the reading process. Wilhelm, J.D. (1995). Reading is seeing: using visual response to improve the literary reading of reluctant readers. Journal of Reading Behavior, 467-503.
Reading and Language Arts This 1996 study shows, “how drawing affects writing, how writing affects drawing, and how both affect the thinking process of students. The third grade students participating in the studies were selected on the basis of their prior performance in reading and mathematics and their identified potential for achievement Davidson, J. (1996). My block and beyond: a documentation of how drawing in conjunction with writing contributes to the thinking process. In The Arts. Albany: New York State Education Department. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED406300)
Reading and Language Arts Through her research, Olshansky (1995, 1997) shows how the visual arts can improve writing skills through Olshansky, B. (1995). Picture this: an arts based literacy program. Educational Leadership, 9, 44-47. <br /> (1997). Picturing story: an irresistible pathway into literacy. The Reading Teacher, 50, 7, 612-615.
Reading and Language Arts Through the “Picture Writing” curriculum the child is engaged in visual thinking skills and discovers “that images, created or imagined, naturally give rise to descriptive language.” Merrill, B. (2003). Unlocking the imagination. SchoolArts, 1, 54-55.
Reading and Language Arts This article explores, “The emerging shift from transmission- to inquiry-oriented models of teaching and learning implies that students need more than words to learn. Transmediation, the act of translating meanings from one sign system to another, increases students Siegel, M. (1995). More than words: the generative power of transmediation for learning. Canadian Journal of Education, 20, 4, 455
Reading and Language Arts In Collages: Help for Reluctant Writers, children are encouraged to illustrate their writing through the creation of collaged images. According to Brown, “The integrated process will inspire them to become more adept at observing, formulating ideas, sequencing, drafting, editing, revising, and writing vivid descriptions.” Brown, L. (1993). Collages: help for reluctant writers. Learning, 25, 2, 22-24.
Reading and Language Arts The publisher states, “In Envisioning Writing, Janet Olson articulates classroom strategies to help teachers understand these children better and thereby facilitate a higher level of learning for the visual learner. Detailing the strong similarities between the visual arts and the language arts, Olson describes how the writing skills of today’s elementary students can be dramatically improved through a method called the “visual narrative approach” to writing. She sets guidelines to help teachers identify the children in their classrooms who will benefit most from this method of instruction.” Olson, J. L. (1992). Envisioning Writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Reading and Language Arts According to the publisher, “Picturing Learning describes an entire framework for incorporating the arts into the literacy conversation. Showing clearly how the visual can be a vital component of literacy, it is a prime example of how close observation and teacher research can bring important changes to classrooms and schools.” Ernst, K. (1993). Picturing Learning: Artists & Writers in the Classroom. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Reading and Language Arts According to the publisher, “The thirteen contributors to New Entries share ways they are working to connect the visual arts to literacy instruction as well as to their own lives. Teachers from elementary school through college take you into their classrooms and show how writing, art, and reading can be combined in different ways in subject areas. You join Peter von Euler and his students on their journey to explore writing through art; get an inside look at how Mary Stein and Brenda Power invite their students to ‘put art on a scientist’s palette’; and learn with Peter Thacker as he explains his process of combining imagery and story in his reading class.” Ernst, K. & Shagoury, R. (1996). New Entries: Learning by Writing and Drawing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Science Research states, “Ninety-one children completed an art drawing and a task requiring the identification of materials in differing compositions. An aesthetic drawing score, a developmental drawing score, which included mark-making, design-making, creation of symbols and developed schemas, and a total drawing score were obtained. A simple linear regression procedure revealed significance for the total drawing scores and the identification scores.” Baldwin, V., Martin, S., & Nelson, P. L. (1998). Drawing skills and science concepts in young children: a study of relationships. Studies in Art Education, 39, 3, 262-269.
Science This article “discusses ways in which the visual arts can be introduced into the teaching of A-level Physics and the benefits that can be gained.” Herklots, L. (2004). Using visual arts in a-level physics. Physics Education, 39, 6, 480-483.
Science According to the abstract this article, “introduces an integrative study of the parallel histories of arts and science to analyze the culturally defined universals of time, space and light.” Croley, C. B. & Khourey-Bowers, C. (1995). Drawing on art & physics. Science Teacher, 62, 1, 18-24.
Science Art and physics, “presents ways in which physics teachers can utilize art to enhance student understanding of physics.” Altshuler, K. (1994). Art and physics. Physics Teacher, 32, 5, 271-274.
Science This article “highlights an art lesson for children that incorporates language arts, social studies, science and visual arts with environmental awareness and introduces architectural vocabulary.” Geiger-Stephens, P. (1995). Solving environmental puzzles. Arts & Activities, 117, 1, 40-42.
Science Findings suggest, according to Edens and Potter, “that descriptive drawing provides a viable way for students to learn scientific concepts and supports the processes of selection, organization, and integration that underpin the cognitive processes necessary for meaningful learning. Recommendations are suggested about how classroom teachers can promote conceptual understanding by utilizing a drawing activity in which students pictorially represent relationships of concepts.” Edens, K. & Potter, E. (2001). Promoting conceptual understanding through pictorial representation, Studies in Art Education, 42, 3, 214-233.

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