Arts education findings of multiple reports
The Arts and Education: New Opportunities for Research outlines existing research and research gaps concerning many aspects of arts education, including positive arts learning environments and the impacts of arts education on children, youth and society.
In the U.S., as in Canada, information about an apparent decline of arts education is largely anecdotal: the report notes a gap in knowledge about the status, condition and financing of arts education. Despite the arts being considered a “core subject” in federal law, the report notes that “we lack reliable data on the amount of time students in the spend studying the arts; on who provides the instruction they do receive and under what conditions; and on the money spent on school arts programs”. The report argues that “the absence of solid data prevents systematic analysis and response”.
The Arts in Canada: Access and Availability 2004 did not contain any survey questions specifically related to arts education. Despite this, in focus group sessions, “participants seemed to be aware of or sensitive to the notion of government cutbacks in schools and [the fact] that the arts are suffering as a result”.
Those interested in Canadian arts education studies may wish to revisit Volume 3, No. 3 of the Arts Research Monitor for summaries of two Canadian reports that provided limited data on arts education (English-language Canadian Literature in High Schools and Arts in Ontario Schools).