As Durham, just three days hence, once again becomes the center of worldwide attention for documentary filmmaking, I’m reminded of a research finding I reported last year that after involvement with this art form 91% of at-risk youth became more interested in continuing their education beyond high school.
Coincidentally this past last week, the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) distributed a study published last month showing the dramatic associations between arts involvement and a wide range of positive outcomes among students of low socio-economic status (SES.)
The analysis for NEA was conducted by James S. Catterall at UCLA with Susan Dumas at LSU and Gillian Hampton- Thompson at the UK’s University of York. Entitled The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth #55R looks at four long-term studies.
The 28-page report, including charts and graphs, is well worth the read and illustrates achievement levels associated with both low and high arts involvement (top 12.5%.)
It is an expansion on Dr. Catterall’s 2009 book entitled Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art: The Effects of Education in the Visual and Performing Arts on Achievements and Values of Young Adults.
The analysis correlates outcomes which are far beyond secondary education such as the image shows in this blog from page 22 of the report which illustrates the percentages of young adults from low socio-economic households who anticipate serving in various professions by age 30.
Anyone who is serious about closing achievement gaps or who might be temped to cut or fail to restore funding for any arts in schools programs should click here and read the report.