William Penn Foundation
The Socioemotional Benefits of the Arts: A New Mandate for Arts Education
THE SOCIOEMOTIONAL BENEFITS OF THE ARTS:
A New Mandate for Arts Education
A SUMMARY REPORT
STEVEN J. HOLOCHWOST
DENNIE PALMER WOLF
KELLY R. FISHER
SCIENCE OF LEARNING INSTITUTE
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
Why does it matter if students receive an education in the arts?
One answer enshrined in public policy is that the arts are part of a “well-rounded education”. Just as we would consider a student’s education incomplete without English Language Arts or science, we should regard an education without the arts as incomplete. One factor that may contribute to reduced school and life success among low-income students is their reduced access to arts education, which limits opportunities to build socioemotional skills, including an understanding that skill results from practice, failure, and recovery, not raw talent. Socioemotional skills are central to school and life success (Farrington et al., 2012; Zimmerman, 2002) and therefore an education that does not feature the opportunity to develop these skills is not well-rounded.
WolfBrown, an arts research firm, collaborated with Johns Hopkins’ Science of Learning Institute, and a cohort of the William Penn Foundation’s Philadelphia-based arts education grantees, to define the impact of arts education programs on students’ socioemotional skills.
This report offers a brief summary of this research
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