Impact of arts education on the cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes of school aged children: a review of evidence
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Dr Beng Huat See and Dr Dimitra Kokotsaki

Commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), this review from Durham University aims to identify the most promising ways that learning through the arts can support disadvantaged pupils to achieve key educational outcomes.

The review examines over 200 pieces of existing academic research, covering a broad range of subjects including traditional fine arts as well as modern dance and movement, hip hop, poetry and creative writing. It concludes that while there are promising leads there is not currently enough robust evidence to demonstrate a causal link between arts education and academic attainment.

Tentative evidence suggests that both music training and integrating drama into the classroom may have beneficial effects, though there is no evidence that engagement in visual arts, such as painting, drawing and sculpture, can improve academic performance. However, the researchers acknowledge that there is an argument for pursuing arts education for its own sake:for enjoyment and appreciation.

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Dr Beng Huat See and Dr Dimitra Kokotsaki

Published by:
Education Endowment Foundation (EEF)

Date of publication:
November 2015

Country of origin:

Sponsored by:
Education Endowment Foundation

CPD opportunities:

The research review will be informative for arts teachers and those interested in embedding arts in the curriculum and exploring new ways of developing pupils’ non-cognitive skills. 


Record ID:
R168 / 189
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