Supporting local partnerships among arts organizations, schools, and community organizations. By addressing the four priority areas highlighted in this agenda, the Partnership will be moving toward the goal that, by the year 2020, every young person in America, at every grade level, will have equitable access to high quality arts learning opportunities, both during the school day and out-of-school time.
Such education not only strengthens cognitive development and the acquisition of life skills – innovative and creative thinking, critical reflection, communicational and inter-personal skills, etc – but also enhances social adaptability and cultural awareness for individuals, enabling them to build personal and collective identities as well as tolerance and acceptance, appreciation of others.
FIRST – thank the committee for including arts education in the K-8 model and let them know that – from your own perspective – additional emphasis on arts education in K-8 will improve the learning environment and the specific academic performance of individual students.
There is also no more than tentative evidence regarding the impact of arts education on behavioural and social skills such as self-confidence, self-concept, motivation, communication and cooperation, empathy, perspective taking and the ability to regulate one’s emotions.
Plausible non-causal explanations cannot be ruled out: students who excel academically and who study the arts may come from families who value both academics and the arts, or attend schools that stress both; and good scores or educational ability no doubt have a positive influence on whether students receive arts education, for example because those proficient at school have more time to spend on the activities concerned, or are encouraged more to do so by their teachers or parents.