The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts released on August 19, 2014 the results of a longitudinal research study of the Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) program. The study is entitled, “Selected Findings From the John F. Kennedy Center’s Arts in Education Research Study: An Impact Evaluation of Arts-Integration Through the Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) Program” by Ivonne Chand O’Neal, Director of Research and Evaluation at the Kennedy Center.
Changing Education Through the Arts provides arts-integrated professional learning opportunities to elementary and middle school teachers in 32 schools in 5 school districts in the Metro D.C. CETA defines “arts integration” as “…an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate their understanding of conventional subject matter through an art form”.
According to the report 796 students, 796 parents, and 90 teachers participated in the CETA study. Comparisons were made between CETA students and matched control students in randomly selected classrooms during the 2012-13 school year. The study examined creativity and student engagement through the use of eight creativity measures and three engagement measures, and from three perspectives: student, parent, and teacher. The study identified the following results:
-CETA students generated more original and creative ideas than non-CETA students at the end of the school year.
-CETA students reported more positive attitudes about the arts and a belief that the arts helped them understand non-arts subjects better.
-Teacher reports of overall creativity were higher for CETA students than for non-CETA students over the course of the school year.
-Teacher reports of social creativity were higher for CETA students than for non-CETA students over the course of the school year. Social creativity refers to a range of attitudes and behaviors that include collaboration, teamwork, independence, curiosity, conformity, etc.
-Parent reports of student personality traits associated with increased creativity were greater for CETA students than for non-CETA students at the end of the school year.
-Parent reports of CETA student participation in arts activities were greater than those of non-CETA students.
-Analyses conducted with only CETA students revealed that over the course of one academic school year, CETA students showed an increase in both flexibility and creativity, and exhibited more positive attitudes about artists.
-CETA students were more engaged in their school work overall than non-CETA students throughout the school year.
-CETA students experienced greater emotional engagement (enjoyed what they were doing), higher levels of interest, increased applied effort, and reported more frequent experiences of being positively challenged throughout the school year.
-Teacher reports of overall student engagement were higher in CETA students than in non-CETA students at the end of the school year.
-Teacher reports of student emotional engagement were higher in CETA students than in non-CETA students throughout the school year.
-Teacher reports of applied student effort and passion/persistence related to the completion of school work were higher in CETA students than in non-CETA students throughout the school year.
According to the report on page 19, “The current study examined predictors of higher standardized test scores and found: Attitudes about art, flexibility, and creativity are associated with higher standardized test scores. The data revealed that standardized test scores in math and reading are higher in students who are more flexible, can easily generate different ways to solve problems, are more creative in their judgment of ideas, or have positive attitudes about the arts. Flexibility in problem solving is a component of creative thinking which is central to work in the arts.”
The report notes that, “A detailed, comprehensive analytical report will be released, designed to both document and outline how these results can be applied to classrooms, school districts, future research studies, and the broader educational and research communities.”
Read “Selected Findings From the John F. Kennedy Center’s Arts in Education Research Study: An Impact Evaluation of Arts-Integration Through the Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) Program” by Ivonne Chand O’Neal, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, August 19, 2014 on ArtsEdge.
The FYI Arts updates are written by Joan Platz, Research and Knowledge Director for the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education. The purpose of FYI Arts is to keep arts education advocates informed about issues dealing with the arts, education, policy, research, and opportunities. The distribution of this information is made possible through the generous support of the Ohio Music Education Association ( www.omea-ohio.org), Ohio Art Education Association ( www.oaea.org), Ohio Educational Theatre Association ( www.ohedta.org); OhioDance (www.ohiodance.org), and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education ( www.oaae.net).