About ArtsEdSearch

Welcome to ArtsEdSearch! ArtsEdSearch is an online clearinghouse of research focused on the outcomes of arts education for students and educators, both during and outside the school day.


ArtsEdSearch is a project of the Arts Education Partnership (AEP), and builds on Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development, a compendium of research that AEP published in 2002 exploring the impact of arts education on student success in school, life and work. AEP developed ArtsEdSearch as a resource for policymakers and education stakeholders and leaders to better understand and articulate the role that arts education can play in preparing students to succeed in the changing contexts of the 21st Century. ArtsEdSearch is designed to be an interactive, living resource that will grow and evolve along with arts and education research and practice.

How to Use ArtsEdSearch

Q. How do I search in ArtsEdSearch?
A. Searching in ArtsEdSearch is very easy. Click the menu item for “Browse Research.” Once on the Browse Research page, you can search studies using key terms or select from any of the criteria listed on the menu on the right-side of the page, including:

  • Age Level of students of students (early childhood, middle school, etc.).
  • Times (school day or out-of-school).
  • Population (special needs students, underserved students, etc.).
  • Art Forms (dance, visual arts, etc.).
  • Student Academic Outcomes (reading comprehension, attendance and graduation, etc. motivation).
  • Student Cognitive Outcomes (creative thinking, problem solving, etc.).
  • Student Personal Outcomes (engagement, self-awareness, etc.).
  • Student Social and Civic Outcomes (arts participation, leadership, etc.).
  • Educator Outcomes (e.g., professional learning, teacher engagement & retention);
  • School Outcomes (parental involvement, school climate, etc.).
  • Program Providers (libraries, performing arts organizations, etc.).
  • Type of Research (case study, correlational, etc.).


What Is (and Is Not) Included in ArtsEdSearch

ArtsEdSearch includes summaries of more than 250 research studies and syntheses of the major findings of these studies.

ArtsEdSearch focuses on research examining how education in the arts—in both discrete arts classes and integrated arts lessons—affects students’ cognitive, personal, social and civic development, as well as how the integration of the arts into the school curriculum affects educators’ instructional practice and engagement in the teaching profession.

ArtsEdSearch does not include research studies about how to teach the arts well or about how to assess student content knowledge and technical skill in the arts. These topics are of great importance to ensuring that students receive a high-quality arts education and are the subject of other clearinghouses devoted to research on teaching and learning within particular arts disciplines.

Development of ArtsEdSearch

The development of ArtsEdSearch was guided by a working group of experts in education research and policy and is supported by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the U. S. Department of Education, the Wallace Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

AEP staff and consultants, including teams of scholars across the country, identify research for inclusion in ArtsEdSearch through ongoing reviews of the existing research literature. To be included, all studies must meet a set of criteria for excellent research developed in consultation with the American Educational Research Association and the American Evaluation Association. Studies meeting the criteria are summarized in a user-friendly manner, with jargon either replaced or clearly defined, so that all the research is accessible to a general audience.

To submit a study or learn more about the criteria for inclusion in ArtsEdSearch, please click here.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is ArtsEdSearch?
A.The Arts Education Partnership created ArtsEdSearch as a first-of-its-kind publicly available resource for reliable and objective research and policy information on the benefits of learning in and through the arts. ArtsEdSearch is the nation’s first online clearinghouse of research focused on the outcomes of arts education for students and educators, both during and outside the school day.

Q. What kind of research is included in ArtsEdSearch?
A. ArtsEdSearch includes evidence-based studies that use appropriate research methods to examine specific outcomes of arts education for students or educators in both in-school and out-of-school contexts. While these outcomes may be related to arts-based teaching practices, it is not the goal of ArtsEdSearch to directly address pedagogy. There are many excellent sources of information research on teaching and learning in and using the particular arts disciplines, such as the professional organizations for dance, music, theatre and visual arts education.

Q. How do you select research to be included in ArtsEdSearch? Can I submit a study?
A. AEP works with teams of researchers to identify high-quality arts learning research related to student and educator outcomes in in-school and out-of-school contexts. The research is reviewed according to the Criteria for Inclusion, which is based on guidelines and principles developed by the American Educational Research Association and the American Evaluation Association. Interested in submitting to ArtsEdSearch? Click here to learn how to submit a study.

Q. Why can’t I find a specific study?
A. ArtsEdSearch is not inclusive of all research related to arts learning. ArtsEdSearch contains only studies that directly investigate learner outcomes and that meet the Criteria for Inclusion.

Q. What is a learning outcome?
A. Learning outcomes are knowledge, skills, capacities and other desired benefits attained as a result of an activity.

Q. What is the difference between school day and out of school?
A. ArtsEdSearch defines school day as regular school hours (bell to bell), which may vary from school to school. Out of school refers to non-school hours, including before school, after school, weekends and seasonal breaks.

Q. Is there a charge to use ArtsEdSearch?
A. There is no charge to use ArtsEdSearch.

Q. After I submit research to ArtsEdSearch, how do I know if it will be included?
A. Submissions are reviewed periodically and submitters will be notified if the study is selected for inclusion. If accepted for inclusion, submitters will be asked to submit an 800-word summary of their study using a template provided by AEP. Click here to learn more.

Q. Why can’t I access the original, full text of the study on ArtsEdSearch?
A. Due to copyright laws, ArtsEdSearch does not provide access to full-text studies. ArtsEdSearch provides summaries of research written for a general audience. You can use the references provided in each research summary to find and access the individual studies.

Q. Can I download the entire database or get a CD or electronic copy of the database?
A. No; ArtsEdSearch is copyrighted by the Arts Education Partnership (AEP). Since AEP only has a license to make it available online, copies cannot be provided to others. While you cannot download the entire database, you can use the references provided in each research summary to find and access the individual studies.

Q. How often is ArtsEdSearch Updated?
A. AEP updates ArtsEdSearch twice a year and announces these updates in AEP’s ArtsEd Digest bi-monthly newsletter and on AEP’s social media accounts.