Cognition and student learning through the arts

Steven A. Melnick, Judith T. Witmer, Martha J. Strickland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In recent years, an increasing number of studies have suggested connections among cognition, social and emotional development, and the arts. Some of this research indicates that students in schools where the arts are an integral part of the academic program tend to have an academic advantage over students for whom that is not the case. This study examines factors in schools and at home that contribute most to the variance in student learning and achievement, particularly as they relate to the arts, using a sample of more than 8,000 students in grade 5. The findings suggest that in-school arts programs alone may have less of an impact on student achievement than previous research has proposed. Parental influences likely have more of an effect than school on most children, and efforts to involve parents in the arts with their children may be more productive than simply providing arts programs in schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-162
Number of pages9
JournalArts Education Policy Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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