For example, a federal government report found that schools designated under No Child Left Behind as needing improvement and schools with higher percentages of minority students were more likely to experience decreases in time spent on arts education. Building on our previous investigations of the impacts of enriching arts field trip experiences, this study examines the effects of a sustained reinvigoration of schoolwide arts education.
Our study was made possible by generous support of the Houston Endowment , the National Endowment for the Arts , and the Spencer Foundation. Half of these schools received substantial influxes of funding earmarked to provide students with a vast array of arts educational experiences throughout the school year. Participating schools were required to commit a monetary match to provide arts experiences. In addition to arts education professional development for school leaders and teachers, students at the 21 treatment schools received, on average, 10 enriching arts educational experiences across dance, music, theater, and visual arts disciplines.
Schools partnered with cultural organizations and institutions that provided these arts learning opportunities through before- and after-school programs, field trips, in-school performances from professional artists, and teaching-artist residencies. Our research efforts were part of a multisector collaboration that united district administrators, cultural organizations and institutions, philanthropists, government officials, and researchers.
Relative to students assigned to the control group, treatment school students experienced a 3. In terms of our measure of compassion for others, students who received more arts education experiences are more interested in how other people feel and more likely to want to help people who are treated badly. In terms of school engagement, students in the treatment group were more likely to agree that school work is enjoyable, makes them think about things in new ways, and that their school offers programs, classes, and activities that keep them interested in school.
As education policymakers increasingly rely on empirical evidence to guide and justify decisions, advocates struggle to make the case for the preservation and restoration of K arts education. To date, there is a remarkable lack of large-scale experimental studies that investigate the educational impacts of the arts. One problem is that U.
Moreover, the most promising outcomes associated with arts education learning objectives extend beyond commonly reported outcomes such as math and reading test scores. There are strong reasons to suspect that engagement in arts education can improve school climate, empower students with a sense of purpose and ownership, and enhance mutual respect for their teachers and peers. Yet, as educators and policymakers have come to recognize the importance of expanding the measures we use to assess educational effectiveness, data measuring social and emotional benefits are not widely collected.
Future efforts should continue to expand on the types of measures used to assess educational program and policy effectiveness.
These findings provide strong evidence that arts educational experiences can produce significant positive impacts on academic and social development. Because schools play a pivotal role in cultivating the next generation of citizens and leaders, it is imperative that we reflect on the fundamental purpose of a well-rounded education. More current studies examined for this briefing paper reveal mixed results from comparisons among different types of block schedules and from block schedules compared to traditional schedules.
Two studies examined longitudinal data to compare student achievement before and after transitioning to a block schedule. Mattox, Hancock, and Queen compared achievement scores in mathematics in five middle schools across five years as the schools transitioned from traditional schedules to block schedules. They confirmed that teachers reported that they tried new approaches to teaching and that student learning was enhanced because of those approaches.
They also reported that increased time allowed teachers the opportunity to determine specific learning needs of their students. Additionally, students increased enrollment in higher-level math courses. Mathematics scores did not significantly increase the first year after the transition to block scheduling, however scores demonstrated a significant increase in years following, with effect sizes ranging from. In the second study, Nichols explored English-content-area student data from five high schools implementing one of two types of block scheduling over several years, comparing pre-block and post-block scores.
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Nichols concluded that block scheduling resulted in slight gains in English and language arts achievement and increases in the number of students enrolled in and completing language arts courses. However, few gains materialized for low-income and minority students as a result of implementing block scheduling. Nichols qualified his study by explaining confounding factors that might influence interpretation of his data e. Lewis et al. However, due to conflicting findings by other researchers, they stressed that "it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions about the most effective format" pg.
Gruber and Onwuegbuzie compared students in high schools using 4 X 4 block scheduling with students in schools following traditional scheduling, looking at grade point averages and performance on the Georgia High School Graduation Test GHSGT. This comparative study found no statistically significant difference in grade point averages or in scores on the writing portion of the GHSGT. However, there were significant differences in scores on the language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science portions of the GHSGT: students in the 4 X 4 block scheduling received lower scores than students in traditional scheduling.
Finally, Gruber and Onwuegbuzie conducted a causal-comparative study to examine effects of scheduling on two groups of high school students—one graduating in under a traditional schedule and one graduating in under a block schedule. Students were deemed to be similar with respect to a number of variables. Results indicate that there were no statistically significant differences in scores between the two groups on the writing portion of the state graduation test. These authors concluded that block scheduling does not have a positive effect on academic achievement among high school students.
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An analysis of the research on block scheduling conducted by Zepeda and Mayers found similarly mixed results. The authors found some evidence that teachers and students like block scheduling. Students believed they received better grades and, in fact, the literature suggests that student grades and grade point averages increased with a block schedule while discipline problems decreased.
However, no clear reasons exist that explain why the results occurred. No support for claims of improved test results, attendance, or teacher practices materialized. Importantly, the authors qualified their findings with the following statement:. Our analysis revealed a body of research characterized by inconsistent findings reported in studies that in many cases did not provide the kind of information about settings, populations studied, and methodologies expected in scholarly writing. Moreover, much of the research was based on limited data collected at schools where block scheduling had only recently been implemented.
In fact, the research provided little at all that could be definitively said about block scheduling. The impact of class time lengths on student achievement appears to be a complex issue with no definitive answers. In their revised introduction to the Prisoners of Time National Education Commission on Time and Learning, , Goldberg and Cross state, "We call not only for more learning time, but for all time to be used in new and better ways" pg.
Introduction - Evidence-Based Practice in Health - UC Library Guides at University of Canberra
Another theme is that more time is not a silver bullet; alone, extended learning time is not enough to change educational outcomes because it must be accompanied by other practices, many of which are complex to implement Pennington, However, supported by the implementation of research based-educational practices, extended learning time can be used effectively as a strategy for improving the performance and learning of disadvantaged and minority students.
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Using evidence to influence policy: Oxfam’s experience
Block scheduling: A catalyst for change in high schools. Princeton, NJ: Eye on Education. Coleman, R. A comparative study of multi-track year-round education and the use of relocatables. Cooper, H. The effects of summer vacation on achievement test scores: A narrative and meta-analytic review.
Review of Educational Research, 66 3 , — The effects of modified school calendars on student achievement and on school and community attitudes. Review of Educational Research, 73 1 , 1— Duel, L. Block scheduling in large, urban high school: Effects on academic achievement, student behavior, and staff perceptions. High School Journal, 83 1 , 14— Evans, W. Block scheduling: An evaluation of outcomes and impact. Clearing House, 75 6 , — Farbman, D. Learning time in America: Trends to reform the American school calendar. Gruber, C. Effects of block scheduling on academic achievement among high school students.
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Evaluating Evidence: Questions to Ask When Reading a Research Article or Report
High School Journal, 81 2 , — Kolbe, T. Time and learning in schools: A national profile. Lewis, C.
The effects of block scheduling on high school academic achievement.