Research projects

The Role of Arts Education in Academic Motivation, Engagement, and Achievement

Organisation University of Sydney, Australia Council
Contact Dr David Sudmalis
Position Manager, Strategic Development and Evaluation, Community Partnerships
Other organisations or people involved University of Sydney. Chief Investigators (CI) for the University of Sydney: Professor Andrew Martin, Associate Professor Michael Anderson Dr Robyn Gibson
Objectives Across two quantitative and qualitative research phases comprising four inter-related studies, the Project aims to address key substantive questions that are relevant to students, educators, parents, policy makers, and key stakeholder institutions.
Research questions The quantitative phase aims to address the following: 1) What is the in-school and out-of-school scale and scope of participation in arts education? 2) What are the broader academic consequences of arts education? 3) Do particular types or forms of arts education play a greater (or lesser) role in academic outcomes? 4) Do these effects vary as a function of intensity or frequency of participation? 5) Are there particular stages of school (primary, junior high, middle high, and senior high school) in which arts education is particularly influential in determining academic outcomes? 6) Do changes in participation or engagement in arts education lead to changes in subsequent academic outcomes? 7) What sorts of Australian-based arts participation effects exist in a multi-nation context? The qualitative phase aims to address the following: 8) What specific learning and motivation processes are involved in arts-based education? 9) What aspects of these process es are transferable to other academic processes and contexts? 10) What classroom practices contribute to high and low engagement in the arts and how can this inform pedagogy more broadly? 11) What are the processes that contribute to upward and downward shifts in arts-based participation and how does this affect academic outcomes? 12) What are the real-time processes and dynamics occurring in arts-based classrooms that inform adaptive patterns of academic motivation and engagement more broadly? Additionally, across quantitative and qualitative methods, a further question is: 13) How can answers derived from the proposed program of studies inform more effective approaches to sustaining motivated and engaged students and assisting those students who are disengaged and at-risk?
Methodology Answers to these questions will be derived through large-scale longitudinal survey and achievement data collected (Study 1), large-scale cross-national arts education and academic outcome data from the PISA 2000 study (Study 2), intensive student-based artefact and interview data collected in real-time (Study 3), and targeted teacher- and classroom-based video and interview data internationally triangulated (Study 4).
Status In progress
Project start date Sep 2009
Project completion date Dec 2013
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