Research on Arts and Education


This section contains a selection of works exploring the impact of arts and culture on education. The references may be useful for advocacy, to help with funding applications or to inform thinking about how artists, arts organisation and the Arts add value to work with schools and young people.

Although the references are largely about the impact of arts education in general,  the methodologies may be of interest to artists and teachers who are interested in exploring the impact of the arts in relation to literacy and numeracy.


Culture Case - A UK resource identifying studies that describe the educational impact of engaging in arts and culture.

Art Ed - A US resource that gathers studies examining the academic, cognitive, personal, social, and civic outcomes for students of arts education.

Creativity, Culture Education – CCEResearch reports evidencing the value and impact of creativity in the learning of young people. 


National Foundation for Educational Research - NFERNFER publications and research on arts education.


Literature Reviews

The Role of Arts Education in Enhancing School Attractiveness (Bamford &Winner 2012) - Review undertaken for the European Expert Network on Culture (EENC) which includes descriptions of a variety of interventions/case studies.


The Contributions of Learning in the Arts to Education, Social and Economic Outcomes (Bolstad 2010) - Literature review from New Zealand




Individual Studies

Learning: creative approaches that raise standards (Ofsted2010 )

Evaluates and illustrates how 44 schools used creative approaches to learning, together with the impact on pupils’ achievement and personal development.


The impact of Creative Partnerships on the attainment of young people
 (Eames, Benton, Sharp and Kendall 2006)

ThisNFERevaluation compared progress in national assessments of young people who had attended Creative Partnerships activities, with a control group.


Signature Pedagogies (2012)

Researched work of creative practitioners, mainly artists, anddefined pedagogies that have the biggest impact of pupils’ academic, social, artistic and emotional progress. The researchers from the University of Nottingham and Goldsmith College London identified 5 Creative Habits of Mind.

-Vimeo channel 

-case studies


Creativity and Literacy: many routes to meaning (Safford & Barrs  2005) - The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education’s research on Children’s language and literacy -  learning in and through creative arts projects.


Turn Around Arts Progress Report (2013)

A US study exploring how high-quality and integrated arts education programme adds value to school-wide reform. (Includes interesting data, including school surveys, interviews and focus groups with school staff and classroom observations). 


Teaching Literacy through Art (2003)

Examined the impact of the Guggenheim's Learning Through Art programme on students' ability to describe and interpret art, and to apply these skills to understanding written text. 


The Bradford Media Literacy project  investigated the impact of the effective use of Media Literacy on Literacy attainment at KS2.


Using Self-Regulation to Improve Writing (Torgerson 2016)

Educational Endowment Funded research on a Calderdale Excellence Partnership project  which offered  a ‘memorable experience’ such as  a cultural visit, combined with a structured approach to help pupils plan, monitor and evaluate their writing. The initiative was found to have a strong, positive effect on the writing outcomes of low attaining pupils.


The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies (Catterall et al, 2012)

A large scale US study on the impact of Arts Education


More than Measuring: Programme Evaluation as an Opportunity to Build the Capacity of Communities (2007)

Conducted over five years, this longitudinal study used design principles that built the capacity of the Dallas community to design and improve arts-rich programmes for children and youth.


Creative Partnership in Practice: Developing Creative Learners (Parker 2013) Bloomsbury

This book draws on the research and case studies from the Creative Partnerships programme in England. It includes chapters on the distinctive contribution that artists make in the classroom; how creative arts programmes can help schools engage with families, together with creative assessment and progression.