Out-of-School - Early Childhood

List of Studies

Academic Outcomes

  • Literacy and Language Development. Dramatic play provides pre-readers and writers a motivating context for learning about literacy, using literacy skills, and exploring new and abstract concepts. A modest body of research that relates to out-of-school learning demonstrates a positive relationship between the arts and literacy, specifically in relation to drama. Dramatic play (teacher-guided or self-directed) leads to deeper comprehension of story, more effective recall over time, and cohesive, explicit, and thorough retelling of the story. Additionally, phonological awareness through music perception skills enhances reading acquisition (Moreno et al., 2011; Rowe 1998).

Cognitive Outcomes

  • Creative Thinking. Studies find that arts education provides young children opportunities to develop their creativity. One study, for example, found that dance education motivates students to use their body as a sensory base to explore creatively and spontaneously, and provides a psychologically and physically safe environment where they feel a sense of ownership (Bond & Stinson, 2000).

Personal Outcomes

  • Engagement and Persistence. Studies show a relationship between increased student participation in the arts and increased student engagement in learning. Specifically, participation in dance relates to positive student engagement and positive attitudes and emotions about the self and the art form (Bond & Stinson, 2000; Bond & Stinson, 2007).
  • Positive Behavior. Some evidence suggests students who participate in music instruction are better able to self-regulate their behavior compared to those who do not participate in music programs (Standley, 1996).