Does arts education for high school students lead to better academic outcomes compared to students with no arts instruction? New research led by Kenneth Elpus, associate professor of music education, and funded by a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences hopes to answer that question using new data and cutting-edge methodology.
By studying students enrolled in International Baccalaureate (IB) programs—who can choose to take an arts course or an additional academic subject—Elpus and collaborators Stephanie Prichard, assistant professor of music education, and Laura M. Stapleton, professor of measurement, statistics and evaluation in the College of Education, will eliminate variation in how arts courses are taught and what is considered an arts course.
Elpus and his team will be able to compare the academic success of the two groups as they progress through high school and into college.
“Bringing to bear very rigorous social science methods on this kind of study is something that the literature needs,” Elpus said.