Principal Investigator: Kenneth Elpus, associate professor of music education
Co-Principal Investigator: Stephanie Prichard, assistant professor of music education
Purpose: The purpose of this project is to explore the relation between rigorous, high quality arts education in high school and academic outcomes at the high school and postsecondary levels. Prior research on the association between arts education and academic outcomes has yielded mixed results, possibly due to wide variation in the definitions of arts education and the academic measures used by researchers. In this study, the research team will analyze a novel administrative dataset that overcomes those weaknesses to establish the relationship between arts education and academic achievement.
Project Activities: The research team will examine the academic achievement outcomes for students who chose to enroll in arts courses compared to those who did not for ten cohorts of American students who pursued courses from the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program, using data provided by the International Baccalaureate Organization. Additionally, they will link IB data to data from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) to compare postsecondary outcomes for arts and non-arts IB students. Finally, they will see if their findings from the IB dataset replicate using data from the Maryland Longitudinal Data System (MLDS) Center for students in the public high schools of Maryland.
Products: The research team will produce preliminary evidence of the potential for arts education to improve high school and postsecondary academic outcomes. In addition, they will produce peer-reviewed publications in arts education and general education research journals, host in-service workshops for arts educators; participate in annual meetings for arts educators and policymakers; publish articles in education practitioner journals and magazines; publish blog posts and op-ed articles on platforms intended to reach the general public; and communicate about these products through various social media platforms.